Thursday, September 30, 2010

Illusions in Prayer - Joy

We must also be careful of feeling of joy that comes with prayer.  Often this is said to be the test if a response is from God.  But this too can be an illusion to one who suffers from pride.

John Climacus says in the seventh step ,
Reject with your right hand, the hand of humility, all streams of joy. Least, since you are unworthy, this joy prove a temptation, and lead you to mistake the wolf for the shepherd.
Elder Macarius says,
The Apostle says that real spiritual joy is one of the rarest fruits of the spirit, to be attained only near the summit of the way, after all evil habits and thoughts are overcome, all passions conquered, and reconciliation with is reached.

Reference: Russian Letters of Spiritual Direction, p 106 

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