the visitation of grace

It is in the flow 3:55 PM late Tuesday afternoon. I am down in the lower level writing on one of our lap top computers. I came down here to take a nap, but I know if I take a nap I won't get up till sometime this evening. I have been forcing myself to stay awake all day by drinking coffee.

I came down here to quote something I read this afternoon in the book "On Prayer" by Archimandrite Sophrony. Today I find myself reading "On Prayer" and then falling into a contemplative state. It is a blessing to be able to read "On Prayer" before it is too late to repent and believe the Gospel of God. I am thankful I know I can pray and the Lord Jesus will hear me. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments" First John 2:1-3.

"Keep your mind firmly fixed on God, and the moment will come when the Immortal Spirit touches the heart. Oh, this touch of the Holy of holies! There is naught on earth to compare with it-it sweeps the spirit into the realm of uncreated Being. It pierces the heart with a love unlike that which is generally understood by the word. Its light streams down on all creation, on the whole human world in its millenary manifestation. Though this love is sensed by the physical heart, by its nature it is spiritual metaphysical.

The life-giving Divine Spirit visits us when we continue humbly open to Him. He does not violate our freedom. He envelops us with His tender warmth. He approaches us so softly that at first we may not notice Him. We must not expect God to force His way in without our consent. Far from it. He respects man, submits to Him. His love is humble-He loves us not condescendingly but tenderly, as a mother aches over her sick baby. When we open our hearts to Him we have an irresistible feeling that He is our 'kin', and the soul melts in worship.

Divine love, which is the intrinsic essence of eternity, in this world cannot avoid suffering. Mellowed through ascetic striving and the visitation of grace, the heart is allowed to behold-obscurely, perhaps- Christ's love embracing the whole of creation in infinite compassion for all that exists. Now I am God's, Christ prisoner. I recognize that I have been called out of nothing-by his nature man is nothingness. Yet in spite of this we expect compassion and respect from God. And suddenly the Almighty reveals Himself in His indescribable humility. This vision moves the soul, astonishes the mind. Involuntarily we bow before Him. And however much we try to become like Him in humility, we do not attain Him." pg.14 Archimandrite Sophrony

"[1] Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
[2] But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
[4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
[5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
[6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Corinth. 4:1-7
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