I Am Naked, Clothe Me

Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery, in the first half of a transcribed (and then translated) speech called “The Progression of the Soul” speaks of stages to the beginning of the spiritual journey.  The beginning point for him is found in rightly negotiating the second stage.   The first stage of the spiritual journey he calls the feeling of exile, the feeling that we are far from God, that there is a wall…

Speaking About Spiritual Things

He who is pure of soul and chaste in life always speaks the words of the Spirit discreetly, and in accord with his own measure he speaks of the things of God and of the things that are within him.  But when a man’s heart is crushed by the passions, his tongue is moved by them; and even though he speak of spiritual matters, yet he discourses passionately, to the end that…

Cowardliness In The Spiritual Life

St. Isaac the Syrian says that there are several ways the devil attacks a person.  The goal of these attacks is to make us pull back from our pursuit of godliness.  Transformation into the image of Christ is a synergistic experience.  We labour together with Christ.  On the other hand, it is also all Grace.  There is no love, joy, peace or patience (or any other of the fruit of the Spirit) without…

Take Heed

Several times in the Gospels, Jesus warns us to take heed of or beware of something. It’s a little tricky finding all of the instances of Jesus’s warnings because there are three Greek words that are often, but not always, translated into English as ‘take heed of’ or ‘beware of.’ Following the New King James translation, there are seven things Jesus specifically tells us to beware of: Doing righteous works in front…

Closing The Door To Tormenting Demons

“Beware of idleness,” St. Isaac the Syrian warns the hermits, for “without it a monk cannot fall into the hands of those who strive to enslave him.” St. Isaac warns hermits not to neglect psalmody nor prayer because in abandoning them, the solitary opens a door to the demons. The judgement of God comes upon us not because we have neglected spiritual discipline, as though God punishes us for legal omissions, failing…