Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger
crookedfingers

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existential reality through the appearance of Uncreated Light

It is now in the blood flow 5:31 PM Monday evening. Today I have been reading "On Prayer" by Archimandrite Sophrony. I have read this book on prayer many times since I bought it several years ago. It is one of my favorite books on Christian prayer. I also recommend this book on Christian prayer that I read last year "Orthodox Prayer: The Interior Way" by Matthew The Poor.

I rediscovered many years ago that the life of a true Christian is a life of unceasing prayer. A Christian is in constant communion and fellowship with the Lord God. Because a Christian is walking with God he is always walking in love. The Christian life is one of love for God and others. The Word of God says, "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."" Gal 5:13,14.

I will now quote "On Prayer" by Archimandrite Sophrony-

"There are two ways for theology: the one, widely familiar in previous centuries, appertaining to the professional theologian; the other, which means being crucified with Christ (cf. 1 Pet.4:13; Rom.8:17; II Tim. 2:11-12; Phil.3:10; Rev.1:9), knowing Him in the secret places of the heart. The first of these types is accessible to the majority of the intellectually endowed having a preference for philosophical subjects-genuine belief in the Divinity of Christ expressing itself in a life lived according to the spirit of His commandments is not needed. The second is the theology of the confessors, which is born of a profound fear of God in the fiery flames of repentance, leading to existential reality through the appearance of Uncreated Light. Academic theology combined with living faith affords blessed results. But it can easily degenerate into abstract theory, and cease to be what we see in the lives of the Apostles, Prophets, Fathers-the direct action of God in us. 'No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him. . .It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard' [in his heart] 'and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me'( John vi.44-45).

The Holy Trinity is the God of Love. The love of which the Gospel treats is the uncreated life-force of unoriginate Divinity. The property of this Love is to unite us in very being. He who dwells in this unity with God gradually grows to realise what is happening to him. 'But God hath revealed [knowledge of Him] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. . . We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth' (1 Cor. 2:10-13). 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God' (Matt 16:16). And Jesus answered, 'flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto him [Peter]. but my Father which is in heaven' (Matt.16:17). 'Great us the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory' (1 Tim.3:16). A this is natural growth in the Spirit through dwelling in the Divine realm by keeping Christ's commandments. The mind straightway apprehends knowledge and formulates it in human terms. It happens like a flash of lightening, when the heart is burning with love. This is the 'marvellous light' of eternity to which we are called (1 Pet.2:9). The accumulation in the experience of the Church of such 'moments of enlightenment has led organically to their reduction into one whole. This is how the first attempt at the systemization of a live theology came about, the work of St. John of Damascus, a man rich, too, in personal experience. The disruption of this wondrous ascent to God in the unfathomable wealth of higher intellection is brought about, where there is a decline of personal experience, by a tendency to submit the gifts of Revelation to the critical faculty of our reason-by a leaning towards 'philosophy of religion'. The consequences are scholastic accounts of theology in which, again, there is more philosophy than Spirit of life." pg. 62-64 Archimandrite Sophrony
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