Knowledge vs. Living

Theology, such as it was understood and lived by the Spiritual Fathers, is not a system of religious knowledge, a collection of theoretical teachings or rational knowledge about God, but a direct experience and actual living of God’s work in one’s heart and life in the world. It is not a discourse-based science, a discussion about God, but a conversation WITH Him, which is done through prayer and in a state of complete cleanliness and abyss of humility. The God of the hermits is more living and real, and His presence is more intensely lived by them than those who speculate about God.

The question of God’s existence and work is not a speculative one, but one based on living, ascesis, and love. The measure of our partaking in the Lord is proportionate with our efforts to clean our passions off more and more and work upon our virtues ever more completely. And a person’s union with God is done in a state of ceaseless prayer and “supra-mindfulness”, in the midst of light and love. Which is why theology does not imply intelligence, but wisdom; neither does it imply a surplus of rationality, but a surplus of prayer.

Fr. Ioan C. Tesu

Excerpt from: http://www.crestinortodox.ro/credinta/prin-stiinta-spre-credinta-96167.html

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Heart and Mind

When we unite these two centres – the heart and the mind -, they become a spiritual unit and then man is whole, as God made him: a full man. Through the prayer of the heart, one achieves this holy ideal of our earthly life.

However, before we reach this ultimate goal of ennoblement, of inner sanctification, of elevating this passion-torn thing which is our human being, we need to work severely to eliminate our passions – which is not easy at all – in order to chase away the evil in our minds and hearts and gather our mind together, which keeps scattering off during prayer, as I mentioned before.

If we were not helped from Above in these efforts, our battle with ourselves would be almost in vain. Yet much to our comfort and strengthening, we can seek help in our Holy Fathers’ experience and advice, which one can find in the Lives of the Saints and in all the patristic literature.

Archimandrite Sofian BOGHIU (Oct. 7 1912 – Sept. 14 2002)