FATHER ALEXANDER MEN was a Russian Orthodox priest murdered in 1990 towards the end of the Soviet Union. In the days of the KGB he secretly gathered little groups of believers in living rooms and kitchens to offer wonderful teachings about the Gospel of Jesus.
Father Men taught that the original sin in the Garden of Eden wasn't sex, not impatience, not greed, not gluttony, not even disobedience, but power. He taught that human beings are tempted to power and that the will to power is the most serious impulse and the heaviest sin of humankind.
Behind all social, political and cultural wars lies the will of power. This is why magic is so popular - because it is the will to rule over nature, as is our technological civilization. Father Men called power a lust and a thirst. We can never escape the impulse even in old age. We may be disinterested in food, in sex, in life's pleasures, "yet this power will remain the last and only thing which brings us joy and happiness."
To follow Jesus all the way, even as he crumbles beneath the heavy weight of the cross, surrounded by imperial power - I must look deeply at my life and disavow all power claims except that claim which is the power of loving service.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven...
Hail Mary full of grace...
Glory be to the Father