The Inner Warfare

Unifying all of one’s spiritual tendencies into a single path provides one with great capability. But that is very difficult to achieve, as there are tendencies that will resist it. Therefore, an inner warfare starts off inside man, in order to defeat the disobedient [forces]. This is how Blondel describes that strategy:

“There is in man a multiplicity of tendencies, of appetites that are more or less concerted or divergent, a «poly-psychism» that has been likened to as a large «nation» governed by reason and will, in which one finds both submissive and disciplined citizens, and recalcitrant and dissident ones. What has been called ascesis and spiritual combat is nothing but the manifestation and method that can be applied in this inner «history», in this «militia hominis adversus et propter semet ipsum». (…) Because any definite and determined position will be countered (out of a spirit of contradiction) by the «party» of the displeased. (…) Any of our initial efforts is like a war declaration against the softness and shallowness of the living energies, which they, too, have an instinct of conservation and independence”. This awakens within us an “alien or hostile awareness and new wishes that rise against one’s will.” (L’Action, vol. II, pp. 194-196I).

The really tough fight starts only within those who have decided to lead a life that is more compliant with the godly commands.”

Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae, Note #1 re: “St. Maximus the Confessor” (Philokalia (III), Humanitas, Bucharest, 2004, p. 182) 

Advertisements

On the Beginners’ Spiritual Shortcomings

Propensity for Haughtiness

They are more readily inclined to give lessons, rather than to receive them. They condemn within their heart those who do not understand faith as they do and they manifest that condemnation – at first, secretly held in their hearts – through their words – and that is when you feel like you hear the Pharisee who thought he was worshipping God when he was vaunting himself for his own deeds, while despising the tax-payer. That sort of attitude is to please the devil. All of these things drive one’s soul to pride and haughtiness. They are of no use whatsoever to the beginners (on the contrary, they change whatever else they have good in them, into sins), as they cease bearing with one another and if anyone comes up to belittle their fellowman, that pleases them. They will see the straw in their brother’s eye yet will fail to notice the beam in their own eye; they will make a big deal out of the other’s minor deeds and will efface their own – greater – faults.

They don’t like confessor Fathers who do not praise them for their actions and don’t appreciate their good behaviour – because such spiritual sons’ sole pursuit is to be praised and commended in everything they do. Continue reading

The Happiness Diary (excerpts) – Fr. Nicolae Steinhardt

A friend is a person who helps you without placing a direct object of time, place, or manner after the verb.

It is not the political or economic system that is decisive, but the tone of the relations among people; whether goodwill reigns, or threat — the rest doesn’t matter. Continue reading

Fr. Arsenie Papacioc has Reposed in the Lord

One of the most important confessor fathers in Orthodoxy, Father Arsenie Papacioc (August 15, 1914 – July 19, 2011), reposed in the Lord today, July 19, 2011, aged 97. He was the spiritual father at St. Mary’s Monastery in Techirghiol (Romania). For the past 35 years, it was there that believers would find Archimandrite Arsenie Papacioc.

Fr. Arsenie had been ill for some time and died a little before noon, in his monastery cell. Theologians say that Father Arsenie was a man a peace and a pastor of joy.

“- When they descend your casket into your tomb, if you could speak at that final moment, when you enter the darkness of the tomb… I lived that moment – in a dream or whatever it was; and as I was going down, I said:

How good it is if you can leave something behind you!” – Fr. Arsenie Papacioc

Fr. Arsenie left behind him an example of wisdom that is not aggressive, which does not speak about itself, but heals and tends to wounds; a type of wisdom that comes from another world“. – Mihail Neamtu, Theologian

Fr. Arsenie Papacioc has gone to heaven, to meet with Jesus Christ, about Whom he would talk to children during the civic education classes that he taught during the communist times.

Fr. Arsenie upset the regime for having shared Christian faith to the little ones.

Followed by the Security, Fr. Arsenie hid among monks for a while. Yet he was eventually arrested and taken to Suceava and held up for investigations for 90 days, during which time he was beaten and tortured.

After heavy years of imprisonment in several communist prisons and forced labour camps, he was released and allowed to serve at St. Mary’s («Sfânta Maria») Monastery in Techirghiol, which he did, from 1976 to the present.

This pains me very much… He would fill our hearts with joy, every time… and it was like we did not feel our pains and problems, any more.”

I think he will be declared a Saint.”

He already is a Saint, before God. All we need now is to canonize him, down here.”

A humble person can make the stars move.” – Fr. Arsenie PAPACIOC

Afraid of Freedom

We are afraid of losing our pitiful psychological and physical comfort, hanging on to the sufferance we keep complaining about, which, if it weren’t for God’s mercy, would change into that “gnashing of teeth” that we would be left with after having rejected His gift until the end.

We are afraid of losing what we have and what we seem to be, by refusing to believe that it is precisely these riches and views that separate us from the Joy to which we are called…

Yet what a miracle that God has put pain inside us, which keeps calling out to us, is always there on our Way, and does not allow us to miss out on our becoming!

Mother Siluana

Source: http://maicasiluana.blogspot.com/2011/05/tocmai-aceste-averi-si-pareri-ne.html

“On Europe’s Christian Heritage” – An Excerpt

By Alexandru Paleologu

[…] Huntington is what you call a politologist. […] I wouldn’t give any job to a politologist, because this is the type of person who thinks that they can philosophize without an entire philosophical basis. A politologist is a specialist who lacks width of vision and does not know how to connect things that only seem to be outside of his expertise.

Huntington’s idea – that the Carpathians could become a fracture line that will lead to inevitable conflicts (since the Western world stops at the Carpathian line, and beyond it, the Slavic-Orthodox one begins) starts from ignoring some actual facts. Only Russia, Bulgaria, and Serbia are Slavic-Orthodox. Greeks and Romanians are not Slavs. There is – it is true – a Slavic background among the Romanians, too, which it would be absurd to deny. Whoever denies it is just as passion-driven as the ones who at some point held that we were entirely Slavic. The Romanian people has some interesting “precedents”: the Cumans, the Pechenegs, the Slavs – in addition to its Latin background and perhaps, the Greek-Latin one, too.

Continue reading