Thoughts and how to confront them (4)

The Temptation of Christ. Fresco  of Boticelli in Capella Sistina, Vatican 1481-5

The Temptation of Christ. Fresco of Boticelli in Capella Sistina, Vatican 1481-5

Hiermonk Benedict of Holy Mount Athos

Continued from (3)

12. Results of the thoughts.

When the thought ages inside us, we then become servants to attempt its accomplishment. Attempt is the attachment of a person to material items and his desire to obtain only these items. Thus, the person’s mind becomes detached from the eternal nourishment. And when the person’s mind withdraws totally from God, then «it becomes either ferocious or de- vilish». That is, the person becomes either as a beast or a demon. We observe this happening in today’s consumer society. The person’s mind has become adhered only to the earthly and has no thought whatsoever of heaven. The result is that the person is transformed into a beast and handicraft (technology) in whatever form, has been deified.

Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Thoughts and how to confront them (3)

The Temptation of Christ. Fresco  of Boticelli in Capella Sistina, Vatican 1481-5

The Temptation of Christ. Fresco of Boticelli in Capella Sistina, Vatican 1481-5

Hiermonk Benedict of Holy Mount Athos

Continued from (2)

9. Blasphemous thoughts.

In following, they attempt to infect the holy moments, such as those of prayer, and the Holy Eucharist, or by inplanting in our minds thoughts of blasphemy against God.

Thus, this vile and impure being adores the moments of Holy Gatherings and especially the dreadful moments of the Holy Sacraments (The Holy Eucharist) in order to blaspheme the Lord and the Sacred Feasts. That is, when the ceremony of The Holy Eucharist takes place, Satan comes and implants in us various blasphemous thoughts. Thoughts such as: «The Holy Eucharist is not The Holy Body and Blood of Christ», and that «that which we go to receive in us is absolutely nothing»! Worthless! There are even more impure and wretchedly vile thoughts which one dares not mention.

Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Thoughts and how to confront them (2)

temptation of christHiermonk Benedict of Holy Mount Athos

Continuation from (1)

3. The journey towards the world of sin.

Externally, the act of sin may appear to be a simple fact, such as a car accident or some other incident. However, in order to commit this act, much other successive instrumentation must have taken place. For example, in order for a murder to take place, there must have, beforehand, occurred thousands of reflections and plans in the human mind. The human mind, in order to come to the point of committing the act of murder, had first become an entire base of demonic thoughts. This is what happens with the commitment of any act of sin. And it all started because of one simple thought…

Let us proceed, however, to see what happens, after the assault of one simple thought.

Read more… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Christian Purpose for Anger

Dore_Gustave_21_Curs-d_wolf_thy_fury_inward_on_thyself_prey_and_consume_thee

Anger is not a bad thing in itself. All human capacities are not inherently evil, but have become corrupted and disordered by sin. What then did God give us anger for?Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues. -Abba Evagrius the Monk Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Abandon Despair!

light of JesusIf the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness. Matthew 6:23

The Fathers say that it is a great danger to spiritual life. Once you fall into it, it is very difficult to climb out. It frequently comes up in confession, and as a spiritual advisor, it is one of the most difficult spiritual states to cure. The Fathers called it “acedia.” (Pronounced “ah see dee ah”) Today, we call this passion “despair.” Truly, when the only light in you is despair, how great is that darkness.

Despair attacks the will and this is how this passion gains its power. With the will weakened, it is difficult to be healed. After all, to pray requires will; to fast requires will; to read or study requires will. It is a bad situation when “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”, but when both the spirit and the flesh are weak, it is a dire situation. Despair begins to strengthen as it feeds upon itself. When despair is strongest, hope is lost. We feel separated from God and begin to wonder if God even exists. We are dead and lying in the darkness of the grave. Life without hope is hell on earth, and a foretaste of eternal life apart from God. It is with great insight that Dante wrote about the sign that hangs over the entrance to hell: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »