Today: January 20 2019
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Tags: Religion, Christianity

Spassky Women's Monastery in Kostomarovo, Voronezh Region

The book of the Orthodox writer Titus Colliander (1904-1989) "Narrow road", published in the publishing house of the Sretensky Monastery, is devoted to the most important topic of the Christian spiritual life - the daily ascetic feat of struggle against passions and cleansing of the heart for the Kingdom of God.

Naked from all knowledge, having no good thoughts or deeds, not remembering the past, not having desires for the future, unfit, like a worn rag, unfeeling like a stone on the road, corroded by worms, like a mushroom in the forest, dying like fish on the shore , grieved to tears by this miserable state - so stand in prayer before your Almighty Judge, the Creator and the Father, your Savior and Lord, the Spirit of Truth and the Life Supervisor. And like the prodigal son, pray from the depths of your insignificance: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before You and is no longer worthy to be called Your son (cf. Luke 15: 21); Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, be merciful to me a sinner!

You know your weakness and see yourself lying as dust, before the Almighty, and from the consciousness of your own insignificance, your love for your neighbors, the Lord created and enlightened them, grows. In the depths of their nature they carry the image of God; and therefore you are ready to sacrifice yourself for them.

The deeper you penetrated into your own heart, the higher you rose above yourself

The strange thing happened: the deeper you penetrated into your own heart, the higher you rose above yourself. Your outer life is the same: you wash the dishes, take care of the children, go to the service, receive salaries and pay taxes. You do everything that people and people around you do, because you do not have the opportunity to leave them physically. But you gave up on yourself. You gave one to buy another.

Having You, what more can I desire? "It is nothing more than incessantly clinging to You in prayer incessantly in prayer," Reverend John of the Ladder answers. "Some are captivated by riches, others by glory, some by acquisitions: my only desire is to be with the Lord." [1].

Prayer, embracing self-denial, has become your real life, which you support only as if for prayer. Walking in front of God (cf. Gen. 6: 9) - this is now the only valuable thing for you that concludes and covers all things heavenly and earthly. For one who wears Christ in his heart, there is no death, no sickness, no earthly fuss; he has already entered into eternal life, which embraces everything. And night and day the Kingdom of Heaven comes into your heart and grows, and you do not know how. For the earth of your heart produces first greenery, then an ear, then a full grain in the ear (cf. Mk. 4: 27-28).

The saints talk about the dark light. This light is not seen by the human eye, but by the heart, and it never ceases to flow in purity and clarity. This light continually goes away from darkness, all multiplying; its distinctive property is to be constantly cleaned. This light of eternity is infinite, penetrating the shell of time and matter. The saints never say that this light was given to them, but only to those who purged their hearts with love for the Lord, voluntarily walking in a narrow way.

The narrow way has no end: its property is eternity. There every moment is the beginning of the moment: the present includes the future; The terrible judgment is in the present, for Christ always fulfills all things, both in hell and in heaven. When the One appears, the set disappears, both in time and in space. All at once, now here, and everywhere, in the depths of your heart. There you will find what you were looking for: the depth, height and breadth of the cross - the Savior and salvation. Therefore, if you want to save your soul and achieve eternal life, then unswervingly fight with your laziness, autumn yourself with the sign of the cross and say: "Give me, Lord, to begin a good in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen".

[1] Compare: John Lestvichnik, St. Ladder. The word 28, § 25. - Ed.

Tit Colliander
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