December 15, 2015
The sheep, the cattle and the spiritual manger of the Church
“Sheep were eaten and lost; there are no longer cattle in the stalls” (Habakkuk 3:17)
“Interpreting the ode of Prophet Habakkuk, St. Maximus the Confessor says that the sheep that Habakkuk cites are the intelligible realities and the thoughts of the mind; the cattle are spiritual teachings and the manger is apathy in regards to actions. If apathy does not exist, spiritual teaching is lost. When this is lost, lost are also the intelligible realities and impulses and actions of the soul which are created in the mind. This happens because the soul descends into the activities of the world due to famine of the logos and gets lost in them.
In other words: the logical sheep were lost because they did not have spiritual food of instruction to eat; for in the spiritual manger of the Church, there were no spiritual cattle; that is, pastors and teachers.” *
(See Maximus the Confessor, Questions and Answers, Question 177)