On Thin Places and Thin Persons
BY FR SERAPHIM ALDEA
Sustained fasting allows prayer to descend to the depth of the heart and burn out the roots of our passions. I stumbled across this quotation by St Paisius Velichkovsky while I was on Athos, recording the new series of our podcasts. Something about this quote made me think of the ‘thin places’ of the Celtic Isles, and how any human being – each and every one of us – can become a ‘thin place’, a transparent being breathing between this fallen world and the Kingdom of God.
Each of us can reach down to the depth of our soul, each of us can become a ‘thin person’, so the Light of Christ can burn all roots of evil and all the bad seeds we have been gathering since we were young, even in our mother’s womb. The fruit of all our mistakes, all our bad choices, all our bad behaviour – once we open to Christ, once we make ourselves transparent to Him, it can all be healed, it can all be turned into ground for good seeds, bringing good fruit into the world.
But this is a difficult process. It can be raw and painful, and often very confusing. It can feel almost like losing your identity in the process, because the deeper His Light reaches, the more it burns and cleanses the soul. Things that were embedded in us – feelings, behaviour, thoughts and instincts – elements that were part of ‘ourselves’ are burned and lost, and this is perceived as loss of self, loss of identity.
Fr. Seraphim Aldea will be visiting the Southeast during the first two weeks of Lent this year.
Priest-monk Seraphim is laboring to establish the first Orthodox monastery in the Scottish Isles in a millennium, dedicated to the Celtic Saints. Please visit Mull Monastery.com or hear Fr. Seraphim on ancient Faith Radio’s podcast, Through a Monk’s Eyes. St Tikhon will be joining with St Maria in Cleveland for this event.