Monday, January 31, 2011

Desire and Action in Spiritual Life

What do we need to do to have divine grace permeate our being, enlightening us, and leading us to a life according to the virtues?  How do we nurture the zeal within us to become worthy of God's grace? We need both to desire it and resolve to set out to achieve it.
Saint Theophan says,
Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but not everyone has the desire to labor towards this end. I am saying this because it is not enough merely to desire. You need to resolve firmly to achieve without fail that which you desire. You also need to resolve firmly to begin the process itself of labor towards this.
So, how do we move from desire to action. Our desire must have some deep personal meaning for us. We must see it as something extremely important and essential to our life. We have in our lives many desires, most of which remain unfilled because we lack the strength to act on them.
St. Theophan says,
In order for desire to be fulfilled, it is necessary to elevated to the level of firm intention or decision, and it is necessary for the heart to say within itself, “No matter what happens, I will obtain such-and-such a thing, or I will accomplish such-and-such a deed.”
 Once our desire is clear and important we must act. We must look at making changes in our way of life. We must reevaluate our priorities and begin to make new choices. Simply put, we must begin. This first step is probably the most difficult of all.
St. Theophan  says,
So that your desire does not fail to bloom, it is necessary to carry it from the beginning to the point of decision. This should not be a hasty decision, but careful, deliberate, firm, rational, and most importantly, an irrevocable decision. Then get down to work itself. First, everything must be accomplished and inwardly through personal reflection, along with prayer to God to bring reason and enlightenment to the mind with respect to the  extremely crucial matter at hand.
Examine what is really important in your life and then, with love, make the necessary changes based on the Traditions, Scripture and practices of the Church, to do the things that will lead you to your desred goal. 

See Ten Points for an Orthodox Way of Life

Reference: The Spiritual Life, pp 137-140

1 comment:

  1. Great advice for all of things we hope to achieve in life. Action is as important as desire.


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