Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the transfiguration of soul and body by divine fire

Last night my wife and I had a discussion on the life of prayer. I told my wife she should read "The Art Of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology" Compiled by Igumen Charition Of Valamo. What Christians should aim for is a greater awareness of our union with God in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" Gal. 3:26,27.

I will quote from the book, "The Art Of Prayer".

"I do not say that all is accomplished at once as soon as we attain the state of conscious communion with God. This is only the foundation laid for the next stage, for a new chapter in our Christian life. From now on the transfiguration or spiritualization of soul and body will begin as we share increasingly in the spirit of life that is in Jesus Christ. Having mastered himself, man will begin to instil into himself all that is true, holy, and pure, and to drive out all that is false, sinful, and corporeal. Until now he made strenuous efforts to do this, but was robbed of the fruits of his efforts every moment of the day; so that whatever he succeeded in achieving was at once all but destroyed. Now the case is different. He stands firmly on his feet, not yielding at all before difficulties, and conducts himself according to the aim of his life.

According to St. Barsanouphios, when we receive in our heart the fire which the Lord came to send on earth (Lk. 12:49), all our human faculties begin to burn within. When by long friction fire is ignited and logs begin to burn with it, the logs thus kindled will crackle and smoke until they are properly alight. But when they are properly alight they appear to be permeated with fire, and produce a pleasing light and warmth without smoke and crackling. So it happens within men. They receive the fire and begin to burn-and how much smoke and crackling there is only those who have experienced it can know. But when the fire is properly alight the smoke and crackling cease, and within reigns only light. This condition is a state of purity; the way to it is long, but the Lord is most merciful and all powerful. Thus it is clear that when a man has received the fire of conscious communion with God, what lies before him is not peace but great labor. But from this point onwards he will find the labor sweet and full of fruit, whereas before the work was bitter and bore little fruit or none." pg. 156 Theophan the Recluse

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