Distractedness

October 4, 2019

“When we think about cell phones, we think about how connected we are, nowadays, to a wide community through the internet. We might think that our age poses a unique challenge for the Christian soul. We are connected with all kinds of news, events, and other people’s passing thoughts, in an instant, and constantly, in a way that human beings never experienced before. However, the problem of the distracted mind was quite well known to the Fathers and saints of our church, since ancient times. The distracted mind is nothing new. Passing thoughts, called logismoi, are not important, yet they can spoil our peace.” (Presvytera Elizabeth Tervo)

 

“One of the things that will make somebody valuable to employers now and even more so in the future is one’s ability not to succumb to distractedness. Our addiction to everyday devices, social media, aps, mindless entertainment (two words that show the shallowness of this age) and everything else on them is giving rise to greater distractibility and inability to focus. Distractedness is as old as time. It just has a different form today than in days past. The Enemy has used it (logismoi) as a tactic for time uncounted and our salvation depends much on our ability to focus on God and live a prayerful and devoted life to Him that helps us keep our mind in order and resistant the types of attacks that try to capture our mind (and then body and soul to follow) away from Him.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

 

“If you let a whole train of logismoi start from that one thought, or even if you try to think out reasons why it is not a good thought, it is much more difficult to let it go. You may start with: ‘I need to weed the garden’ and continue with: ‘What is the weather today?’ ‘Will I have time in my schedule? ‘Nobody is helping me with the weeding.’ By now not only are your thoughts getting involved, but you’re also becoming resentful! It’s harder to bring your mind back now. How much easier it would have been to ignore the weeds in the first place!” (Presvytera Elizabeth Tervo)

 

 “St. Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that we are not ignorant of Satan's devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Let's use this knowledge to practically guide us in not reacting to attacks...We can be aware of these logismoi (thought darts) and quench them with watchfulness and prayer, and then respond in a God-pleasing and family-edifying way.” (Bishop Thomas)

 

“St. John Cassian (Philokalia I) tells us that St. Anthony the Great considered the most important gift to be discernment (diakrisis), which is the spiritual perception of that which burdens the heart of the one who has infirmities. Discernment is accomplished through the practice of "disclosure of thoughts" (logismoi) and of the impulses and passions that have occurred in his life; love of others and taking on the burden of the disciple: “To one is given through the Spirit … gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits. (1Cor 12:8-10) “… it is this virtue that teaches a man to walk along the royal road, swerving neither to right through immoderate self-control, nor to the left through indifference and laxity.” (Fr. George Morelli)

 

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