Saturday, August 04, 2007

Christ in our Midst-VI(letters 2,3,and 4)

In letters 2, 3, and 4, Father John states in each one to the young lady he's corresponding with:

"Have humility and do not trust yourself until you reach the grave."

In letter 3 Father John further instructs:

"It is our task to work for every virtue, but success depends on the grace of God, and God rewards his grace not for work but for humility. In so far as a person humbles himself, he is visited by grace."

In letter 4 Father John is warning against striving for spiritual raptures as mystics do. These mystics fall into diabolic self-deception. In line with this he relates:

"The Paterikon5 tells how a disciple said to a staretz that such-and-such a man 'sees angels'. The staretz answered: 'This is not surprising, that he sees angels, but I would marvel at a person who saw his own sins'. Brief as this saying of the staretz is, its spiritual meaning is very deep, because nothing is so difficult as to know oneself."
5.A collection of sayings of the Fathers.

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