Archive for January, 2010

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On Spiritual Vision

January 31, 2010

If people would only put the brakes on their speeding minds, not only would their mind find rest, but it would be more receptive to divine Grace. Without divine illu­mination, knowledge ends in disaster. Those who strive and labor for their spiritual life have their mind illumined by God; they receive divine illumination, divine experiences, and these give them foresight, so that they don’t see things only through their own understanding. A short-sighted person sees clearly the things that are close, but not what is far away. As for a person with normal vision, well, he may be able to see a bit farther, but that too is not an accomplishment. We cannot have more than two physical eyes; but we can have many spiritual eyes. – Elder Paisios

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Elder Anatole on Pride

January 30, 2010

Pride comes in various forms. There is worldly pride: this is knowledge; and there is spiritual pride: this is self-love. This is exactly so: people will truly go insane if they expect their intellect to cope with everything they hope to receive from it. But how can our mind get down to its own business, since it is insignificant and infected? Take from it that which it is able to give, and make no further demand upon it. Our teacher is humility. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and the grace of God is everything. That is your greatest wisdom. Humble yourself and say to yourself: ‘Although I’m a speck of earthly dust, still God cares for me, and may the will of God be done in me.’ If you say this, not only with your mind, but also with your heart, and really boldly—as becomes a true Christian—relying on the Lord with a firm intention to submit to the will of God—whatever it may be—without murmuring, then the clouds will disperse before you and the sun will look out, and will enlighten and warm you. And you will know true joy from the Lord and everything will seem clear and transparent to you, and you will cease tormenting yourself, and it will become light in your soul. – Elder Anatole (Potapov) of Optina

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Dedication

January 30, 2010

Mother of God “Softener of Evil Hearts”

Commemorated February 2