Monday, November 15, 2010

Advice for Someone in Beginning of Spiritual LIfe

Frequently when we are beginning our spiritual journey we put emphasis on study.  Some strive to read all the books we can.  Beware, as this can be a mistake.  Spiritual growth comes from a keen understanding of ourselves.  Reading and studying often only postpones the work we need to do to know the causes of our own actions.  

Here is some advice from Elder Paisios,
When someone is in the beginning of his spiritual life, he should not study a lot, but instead watch himself and observe his thoughts.
This does require time for introspection and a mind that is not too busy.  This is why it is also important to begin a regular prayer life that includes a practice like praying the Jesus Prayer.  Of course, we need to know the details of our faith and the teachings of the Scripture.  But, in the end we need to know our own weaknesses, prejudices, and habits so we can consciously seek help to change our behaviors to live the virtues that Jesus taught us.

Reference: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, p 131

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