Friday, March 19, 2010

Spiritual Warfare V - The Final Act

Having conquered the passions and tamed our thoughts, becoming effective spiritual warriors, we are ready for the final movement –– surrender and ascent towards a living communion with God. Please recognize that much work is necessary to prepare for this final act.  Having developed a keen ability for inner concentration, one will find that their inner being begins to reorganize.

Saint Theophan says,
Little by little is revealed to him the main goal that he should be seeking and which had previously ben hidden behind a multitude of activities.... This goal and striving is :longing for God as the highest good. 
We we began our efforts we acted mainly out of fear for our salvation.  We sensed an important duty and obligation to do the will of God as described to us in the Scriptures. Divine grace awakened us to these duties.  But there is another step where all changes.

Saint Theophan says,
"Then the fear subsides and, without disappearing, gives way to the sweetness of labor for the Lord and a pleasant feeling connected with it.  This is the beginning of the soul's coming alive to God, the ripening of its bright goal."
Now our spiritual work changes and we must focus on preserving this new condition of our inner being. All our previous ascetic efforts have cultivated a strong yearning for union with God.  Now they need to be redirected to protect this new inner sense of God's inner presence.

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