Metropolitan Anthony (Packanich) tells what is the protection against demonic machinations.
A rare gift
Some believers do scant justice about the power of individual spiritual orders. Many people don't even know about this power. For example, about the power of joy. Many saints who lived in different times and epochs spoke about this phenomenon. Each of them comprehended the indicated spiritual height in their own unique way.
True joy is achieved only by anauthentic life in Christ. A person grows spiritually stronger under the influence of blessed onslaught,primarily of short moments of perfect joy, and eventually of longer ones. All difficulties and trials fade before the miraculous power of this virtue.
There are saints who are united by common trait: their cheerfulness. And this is a rare and priceless gift. Spiritual joy penetrated them so much that they had never seen to be sad or discouraged, and they sought to communicate this joyful mood of spirit to others. Such was Saint Seraphim of Sarov.
Definitely, no virtues, no stages of spiritual orders, including cheerfulness, are being achieved without humbling. And the VenerableSeraphim always remembered his sins (imperfection) and sincerely lamented about it. "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" was his ceaseless prayer, offered up by him to God.
The Venerable Anthony the Great decisively said that if a person didn't have extreme humbling, the humbling with all his heart, with all his soul and body, then he would not inherit the Kingdom of God. Because only deep humbling can overcome the evil in a person, which consists in pride, selfishness and self-affirmation. And where there is evil, there can be no joy.
Healing with joy
Spiritual joy comes from spiritual purity. And to someone, who is constantly filled with joy from the Source of Life, demons can not do any mischief. That’s why one of the main tasks of the enemies of the human race is the desire to prevent our spiritual joy as the protection from demonic machinations lies in it.
But how can a believer come to this joy? How is it being obtained?
True joy grows out of our spiritual deeds: fervent prayer, purity of thoughts, heartfelt repentance, striving for knowledge of God, living according to the gospel commandments.
Venerable Seraphim of Sarov was not only jealous of spiritual joy, but also loved to see it in his neighbors, brothers. The saint believed that just as all sins are contagious, so personal virtues can inspire and energize other people. Because when someone falls into temptation or despondency, it is so important for him to see joy on the faces of friends and relatives – and the despondency clears up.
The Saint elder greeted everyone with the exclamation "My joy! Christ is risen!". And at priest’s side, hearts thawed and comforted, faith in Christ was born, awareness of their sins came.
This is a great example for all of us. We always complain, we always frownat something, and it does not even cross our mind that we should not show our sadness and bad mood in front of everyone, that we should reveal our sadness only to God. And in front of your neighbors, we should always have a joyful look, not embarrass them with a disappointed and sad face for the sake of respect, love and humbling.
And then the Lord, by His mercy, will forgive and send joy to the humbled soul. We are rightly deprived of joy for our sins, for disobedience. Besides, a whipped look often points at laziness, apathy, indifference and disinclination to good deeds.
Definitely, spiritual joy does not exclude seriousness and responsibility: they complement each other and together serve as a reliable shield against the devil arrows. Nothing is impossible for those who love God.Strong love erases any boundaries, moves mountains and makes a person invincible.
«The love to God makes ascetics able to go beyond the limits of their nature», — the Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus taught.
Let us remember this and follow the saints in the virtues!
Recorded by Natalia Goroshkova
Опубликовано: Mon, 11/10/2021 - 10:07