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Πέμπτη, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2019

St Sophrony of Essex, On Prayer.






Everything in us that resists Christ's word, we sense like the presence of death in us. And so, we carry on in a state of profound dichotomy - on the one hand, gratitude like a sweet pain pierces us to the heart; on the other, we feel unbearable shame for ourselves, and are appalled at the remoteness of our goal.

Both constant striving towards the Light of Christ and determination to endure all the consequences of this striving here on earth are imperative for every Christian. Only then do we reach understanding of the Gospel word - but we cannot observe how this happens because we are concerned with the real presence of God with us which is indescribable.

In every other sphere of human culture it is possible to observe 'progress' but this is not so in our life. Often the Holy Spirit withdraws from us because of one or another impulse of our heart, or perhaps a thought. But this withdrawal may occur because the Spirit sees us relaxed and content with what we have received or attained, and so retires, in order to show us how far distant we still are from what we ought to be.

—St Sophrony of Essex, On Prayer

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