Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Way of Love is the Easiest Path

Elder Porphyrios emphasizes that there are two paths we can take. One is very hard and the other easy. The difficult path is to fight against evil and the easy way is the path of love. How do we nurture this love for God?

Edler Porphyrios says, 

The Soul is sanctified and purified through the study of the words of the Fathers, through the memorization of the psalms and of portions of Scripture, through the singing of hymns and through the repetition of the Jesus Prayer. 
He suggests that we read the holy books of the Church with joy. The Book of the Eight Tones, the Psalter, the books with the offices for the feasts and the daily saint commemorations. The lives of the saints give us examples of people who gave their lives entirely to Christ and became true lovers with God. We can take delight in their achievements and imitate them. They began their lives just like us. We have the same opportunity to become sanctified like them.

We should undertake this study, as with all things in our life, with great attention. The Elder advises us to look up each word in the dictionary and read clearly understanding the meaning of every word.

This is the easy way he tells us. All one needs to do is to do these things and ignore other things.

He says that the kind of effort necessary is, 

To study and pray and have your aim to advance in the love of God and of the Church. 
The object is not to sit and afflict and constrict yourself in order to improve. The object is to live, study, to pray and to advance in love––in love for Christ and for the Church. 

This is a very practical way in today's busy life.  Don't aggravate yourself with fighting the evil, but concentrate on your own study and prayer until this love for God is always at the forefront of your mind and heart. Simply set aside time for daily study and prayer with emphasis on the use of the Jesus Prayer.  Then when you face difficulties God will be the first thought you have and your love for Him will bring you divine grace.  Then you will act with the support of the Holy Spirit.
More on Jesus Prayer...

Wounded by Love, pp135-136

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