Those who want to pray
with a cleansed mind (nous) must not concern themselves with the
latest news from the newspapers, or read books that are irrelevant
to our spiritual life – especially those books that arouse the
passions – and they must not strive to learn out of curiosity
whatever pertains to the lives of others. All these things bring
foreign thoughts to mind, and when a person attempts to elucidate
them, they confound his mind even more.
When the soul is taught love by God, then it will feel sorrow for
all of Mankind, all of Creation, and will pray that everyone might
repent and receive the grace of the Holy Spirit. But, should the
soul lose this grace, love will abandon it (because without the
grace of God, it is impossible to love one’s enemy) and that is when
wicked thoughts will issue from the heart, as the Lord had said
(Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21-22).
Without the humility of Christ, Man’s nous (mind) will not be
cleansed and his soul will never feel reposed in God, but will
always be agitated by various thoughts that will hinder his “theory”
(sighting) of God. Ah, the humility according to Christ! Those who
have tried it, rush towards God, insatiably, day and night!
Ah, but what a
weakling I am! I have been writing for just a short while, and yet
I have quickly become tired, and my body yearns to rest. But even
the Lord Himself, when He was on earth “in His flesh”, was familiar
with human frailty. He,
also feel weary
after His journeys on foot, and He had also slept on board a boat
during the tempest; and, after the disciples had roused Him from His
sleep, He commanded the sea and the wind to become still, and a
great calm followed. So it is with our soul, whenever we call upon
the most Holy Name of the Lord: a great calm follows.
Allow us, o Lord, to
glorify You, until our dying breath…..
can fall into
deception, either out of inexperience, or out of pride.
And if it is out of inexperience, the Lord heals the deceived one
very quickly; however, if it is on account of pride, then the soul
will be struggling for a very long time, until it has learnt
humility and will then be healed by the Lord.
We fall into a deception, when we consider ourselves more prudent
and experienced than the others – even our own spiritual father.
This is what I myself had thought -in my inexperience- and this was
the reason that I suffered. And I thank the Lord from my heart,
because in this way, He humbled me and admonished me, and did not
revoke His mercy from me. Now it occurs to me that without
confessing to our spiritual father, it will not be possible to avoid
deception, because it was to the spiritual father that God gave the
gift of “binding and unbinding”.
If you sense light
inside you or around you, do not believe in it unless you also have
a deep solemnity within you for God and a love for your fellow man.
However, do not be afraid; only humble yourself, and that light will
Should you see a
certain vision or dream, do not trust it, for if it was from God,
the Lord Himself will inform you about it. A soul that has not
tasted of the Holy Spirit cannot discern where the vision comes
from. The enemy will give the soul a “sweet sensation” combined
with vainglory, and it is from this, that deception will have become
The Fathers say that
when a vision is a hostile one, the soul feels confusion or fear;
but this will happen only to the humble soul that considers itself
unworthy of a vision. The vainglorious person however, may not feel
either fear or confusion, because he is desirous of visions and
regards himself as worthy of them, which is why the enemy can easily
Celestial things are
recognized through the Holy Spirit and terrestrial things through
one’s physical state.
Whosoever attempts to
know God through the physical mind is deceived, because God can only
be known via the Holy Spirit.
If you see demons with
your mind, then humble yourself and try not to look, and run as fast
as you can to your spiritual Geron (Elder), to whom you have
surrendered yourself. Tell him everything, and the Lord will then
show His mercy on you and you will be rescued from that deception.
But if you believe that you know more about spiritual matters than
your spiritual father and you cease to tell him whatever is
happening to you, then, because of this act of pride, inevitably, a
certain trial will “befall” you, in order to restore your prudence.
Fight your enemies
When you see another mind struggling with your mind, then humble
yourself and the struggle will cease.
happen to see demons, do not be afraid, but humble yourself and the
demons will disappear. But if fear does overcome you, you will not
avoid suffering some harm. Be brave. Remember that the Lord can
see you, if you have hinged your hopes on Him.
But, for the soul to
acquire respite from the demons, it must humble itself and say: “I
am worse than all the others; I am more wretched than every beast
and every wild animal”...
Just as people enter a
house and leave it, so do thoughts come from demons and
can leave, provided we
do not hold on to them. If your thought says: “steal” and you obey,
way giving the demon power over you. If your thought says: “eat as
much as you want, until you are full”, and you do eat excessively,
then again the demon will hold power over you. Thus, if the
thought of every passion conquers you, you will end up a
dwelling-place of demons. However, if you commence with the
appropriate repentance, then the demons will begin to quake and be
forced to leave.”