March 14, 2008

More Changing and Growing

I love how sometimes Providence puts a book in my hands that speaks to just what I was thinking about. After writing yesterday's post about changing and growing along our spiritual path, I went into Manhattan to get away for the day. I took as my subway reading Archimandrite Sophrony's On Prayer. Here's what I read:
In contemplating the holiness of God man develops more quickly than he does in his ability to conform his life to the commandments. Hence the impression that the distance between us and God continually increases. (page 22)

In other words we experience the holiness of God more easily than we are able to become holy ourselves. That's why it's so easy to get the impression that we are stagnant or even moving backwards in our spiritual life; the mysterious apprehension of God makes us more and more aware of our littleness and distance. But all of this is an optical illusion of the eye of the heart, as it were, because even this awareness is the work of the Holy Spirit that prays to the Father from within us.


Tausign said...

Another take on this is that we're pleased with our spiritual relation being primarily in the range of pondering and musing: a sort of 'head trip'. But when it comes to doing the work of change (i.e. penance) it's a very different matter. Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.

Charles of New Haven said...

So true, so true. The devil is quite happy to have us think about and plan our life of prayer and penance, as long as we ignore the moment at hand.

MikeF said...

Thank you! I love what I've read of Sophrony (I only have His Life is Mine) - I've linked to your post here.