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Thursday, January 21, 2010
When Grace Awakens - Sweetness in Godly Life
Saint Theophan the Recluse
Our blindness to our sinfulness disappears. We now see and feel all of the ugliness inside ourselves and the danger our soul faces. We now have the zeal to be responsible before God and make changes in our life.
We feel a "certain Sweetness in godly life." Saint Theophan says,
He also has a presentiment that joy and consolation are hidden in the realm of goodness, which is not being revealed to his spiritual eye. It comes into view like the promised land."
We feel free from the control of sin. There is a certain indifference towards good and evil. We now have total freedom to choose that which is good. Theophan says it "allows him to taste the sweetness of goodness, attracts him to itself consciously and perceptively. the scales are even. Now complete freedom to act in in the person's hands.
Everything is illumined.
In this manner, as in a flash of lightning, everything within and around the person is illuminated by this grace-filled awakening. For one instant it introduces the heart to that state from which sin has been cast out, and places man into that chain of creation from which he voluntarily exiled himself through sin.
This awakening does not complete our work. It only initiates it. There is first a movement towards oneself and one away from oneself to God. First we become aware of our sinful nature, then, having feeling of contrition and desiring to become like God, we draw near to Him.
"By the first movement the person regains the authority he had lost over himself, and the second brings him forth as a sacrifice to God––a whole-burnt offering of freedom. In the first movement he comes to the decision to abandon sin, and in the second, drawing near to God, he gives a promise to belong to Him alone throughout the days of his life."
Reference: Path to Salvation, pp 147-149
Ten Point Program for Orthodox Life