Wrestling with God

“Working up courage, I entered the cave and proceeded toward the voice.  The ascetic was curled up on the ground.  He had raised his head, and I was able in the half-light to make out his face as it gleamed in the depths of unutterable beatitude…I did not know what to say, where to begin…Finally I gathered up courage.  ‘Do you still wrestle with the devil Father Makarios?’ I asked him.  ‘Not any longer, my child.  I have grown old now, and he has grown old with me.  He doesn’t have the strength.  I wrestle with God.’  ‘With God!’ I exclaimed in astonishment.  ‘And you hope to win?’  ‘I hope to lose, my child.  My bones remain with me still, and they continue to resist.’  ‘Yours is a hard life, Father.  I too want to be saved.  Is there no other way?’  ‘More agreeable?’ asked the ascetic, smiling compassionately.  ‘More human, Father.’  ‘One, only one.’  ‘What is it?’  ‘Ascent.  To climb a series of steps.  From the full stomach to hunger, from the slaked throat to thirst, from joy to suffering; the devil sits at the summit of a comfortable life.  Choose.’  ‘I am still young.  The world is nice.  I have time to choose.’ Reaching out with the five bones of his hand, the ascetic touched my knee and pushed me.  ‘Wake up, my child.  Wake up before death wakes you up.’  (Nikos Kazantzakis, Report to Greco.)

If you haven’t read Report to Greco I highly recommend it.  It is an utterly absorbing account of a spiritual search and journey and is set in Greece, the author’s homeland.  The extract above tells of Kazantzakis’ visit to Mount Athos, in the peninsula of Halkidiki, also known as the peninsula of Athos.  It is a place completely dedicated to prayer and worship of God.  The peninsula is 50 kms in length and 8 – 12 kms in width.  Its highest point is like a huge cone, rising 2033 metres.  It is also known as The Holy Mount and is the centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. 

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Ms Kerry McCullough

Spirituality and Liturgy Coordinator


Mary Ward and the Painted life at Loreto Kirribilli

Loreto Kirribilli is excited to welcome Sr Monika Glockann CJ to share with us some of her extensive knowledge of the fascinating Painted Life series, and in particular lead us, through close exploration of a few of the paintings, to reflect on the risks we are all invited to freely take today.

In the early 1990s, Monika undertook the establishment of the Mary Ward Centre in Augsburg in association with Sr Roswitha Bach CJ.  This is the home of the Painted Life. 

Monika and Roswitha co-authored a number of publications related to Mary Ward. Monika was one of the congregation of Jesus pilgrims who walked the route Mary Ward took in her travels to Rome, travelling the 2000km over six summers and completing it in time for the 400 Jubilee celebrations in Rome in 2009.

When: Sunday 20 August 2:00- 4:30pm

Where: Loreto Kirribilli – Gonzaga Barry Centre

Cost: Free of charge

Please register your attendance here.

For further information please contact Sharon O’Keeffe.