St. Silouan the Athonite Mission Parish


October 2010
by Fr Roberto Ubertino

Who can remember the Gospel we heard this morning? You see proof that as soon as the Word of God is sown in us the devil comes and takes away the word. The parable of the sower is about Christ being born in us, or another way to speak about this call to be born anew and so enter the kingdom. He speaks about the rebirth through a relationship of trust and obedience to another father/mother, he speaks of this relationship as becoming pregnant with the seed of the Logos – the seed of Logos is the words address to us personally by our spiritual father/mother. 

In the apothegmata of the desert fathers, so often we hear this request – Give me a word that I may be saved.

Today every one wants to speak words promising everything from money to salvation. The internet is full of Orthodox words and our shelves are saturated with the latest spiritual advice. Endless books appear with photos of new and improved elders. While satisfying our curiosity and need to be right, few if any get us pregnant with the seed of the Logos. Few if any produce in us this pregnancy that St Nikitas speaks about. The great Fathers of the early centuries all became pregnant by a verse of the Scripture which they then went and lived out for as long as God asked them. In turn, after years and years of chewing on these words of the Scripture, they were able to speak with the same Holy Spirit that the Scriptures were the Word that each of their disciples needed. In them the Word produced an effect. Equally true that those who came to them were completely open to receive this Word, this seed that would make them pregnant.

Let us approach the reading of the Scripture or our spiritual father with this expectation to listen and to take to heart a word that will make us spiritually pregnant with the Word of God himself, Christ our God. We have all received such words and for the most part we forgot them. In turn there is always time to start really listening, whatever that word is that we need to enflesh in our life one thing is necessary – ipomoni – patient endurance. The image is of a plant growing in extreme circumstances. The word is there sown in our heart, is gathered, accepted, surrendered to it; it will eventually in God’s time bring us to a new birth necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. But the pregnancy is in the desert, that is why all the spiritual fathers and mothers went there to live their pregnancy. Like them we should not fear or be discouraged by our difficult pregnancy, but as the Lord’s seed; in patience our beautiful and true heart will bear fruit.

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