Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Father Matthew and Saint John Damascene

He is light, incomprehensible sweetness, incomparable, immeasurable perfection, an ocean of goodness, boundless wisdom, and power, who alone is worthy of Himself to excite admiration, to be worshipped, glorified, and desired… We must thank God for all created things, and show Him perpetual worship, as from Him and through Him all creation takes its being and subsists.  John Damascene, On the Divine Images.

Jesus is always coming toward us to fill us with an infinity of compassion and mercy. And his way of seeing things is very different than our own. We see measurement: “How many times?” God sees seventy-times-seven – immeasurability. Love and compassion and forgiveness increase unbelievably when they are shared. You never run out. It is simply foolish to be stingy and not to love and forgive as has been done to us by God. We are invited to imitate God’s immeasurable goodness.

As we were composing these lines, our dear Father Matthew passed away in the abbey infirmary. We remember his indomitable joy and loving presence; never a negative voice, never stingy with his love but always a brother and mentor who supported and encouraged us. Matthew always saw God's immeasurable goodness in all that occurred - God guiding and leading us, never abandoning us in any circumstance. Having undergone innumerable medical complications and sufferings during his long life, Matthew's spirit was ever-infused with hope that God would provide and sustain us.
Photographs  by Brother Brian.