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Inner and Outer Self

“If our automobile begins to make noises, has a check engine light on, or is just not driving right, we take it into the auto shop for servicing so the problem can be resolved. If we have a tooth ache, we head to the dentist. For many, when it comes to our emotional life, we struggle to apply these same concepts. The benefits of the ability to investigate and trouble-shoot ourselves should not be underestimated. Many of us have no problem lifting up the hood of our car to take a peek at the engine, yet we struggle to take a peek into our heart to see what might be happening.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)

“In so far as possible, we should fast from the hectic pace of our ordinary lives. When we live at “warp speed,” we cannot get in touch with the state of our souls.  When we keep pushing forward, we cannot reflect soberly on the course of our lives. When we rush from one thing to the next, prayer gets left behind. Thus, Paul’s recommendation of “stillness” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) means to be “silent.” But it also means slowing down. We should ease up on our feverish pace so that the Lord can catch up with us and inspire us with the hope for His coming.” (Fr. Basil)

“The fullness of existence is only found in communion, a mutual indwelling in which our lives are known and experienced not just in their self-contained form, but in their interrelation to others and everything around us. True existence is a connectedness. It is also the very place where the instability and fragility of our lives is most revealed. If we can withdraw into ourselves, it is possible to imagine that we are fine, and that the things and people around us are just noise, sometimes enjoyable and other times annoying. But we do not think of the things and people around us as if our lives depended on them.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“..the person who is alive in Christ and anointed with the Holy Spirit must look within himself or herself and listen for the whispers of the soul. He or she must be ever in touch with God’s image stamped on the psyche. The whole person spends a lifetime shutting out the sights and sounds, tastes and feelings that numb the senses and sensations of the Spirit, those events that negate and nullify the sensitivities which were enhanced by holy Baptism and that suppress the invaluable grace of living to one’s fullest capacity, striving to become agents of the heavenly Father attuned to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit alive in us through Jesus Christ so that we might be in all ways His partners for the renewal of the earth.” (Very Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“Indeed, the Fathers teach that the ascent to Heaven is connected with the descent into ourselves. The more we sink our attention deep into the soul, the more we find our secret heart; through repentance the Kingdom of Heaven descends into the heart and makes it Paradise and Heaven.” (Hierotheos Vlakos)

“The essence of the Christian life has more to do with the inner life of the soul than with external conduct…” Our external conduct is merely the leading edge of watching; the real work of being attentive takes place inside us…to be truly [Christian] is to exercise an inner listening with an attentive heart, nurturing a spirit that seeks illumination and wisdom from God. It requires deep humility concerning our personal capacities, for we resolve to place our trust in what the Church has always taught.” (Archimandrite Ioannikios, Dynamis 2/13/2020, OCPM 4/10/2017)

“Many desperate souls who are seeking guidance make the mistake that God communicates to the mind. God is a spirit being, and He communicates with man’s spirit (see John 4:24). Until a believer understands how God speaks to us, and learns to listen with spiritual ears through the inner man, he is likely to experience much false guidance. It takes a disciplined effort to hear from the Lord, to find time away from distractions. This is how we get into the presence of the Lord. I am reminded of the verse: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Is 30:15).” (Frank Hammond)

“It is a form of an affliction where we permit ourselves to indulge in thoughts of unfairness, until we become thoroughly miserable and obsessed by it. It is a pattern that destroys the good fruit of the Spirit, especially the fruits of inner joy and peace.” (Frank Hammond)

“…we long after God in our hearts but oppose Him in our thoughts. Our opposition cannot harm God, for He is Almighty, but it can certainly harm us. Our thoughts, moods, and desires set a path for our life. Our thoughts reflect our whole life. If our thoughts are quiet, peaceful, and full of love, kindness, and purity, then we have peace, for peaceful thoughts make possible the existence of inner peace, which radiates from us. However, if we breed negative thoughts, then our inner peace is shattered…When the soul is mature, God will give it inner peace. The Lord watches over us, and He is pleased that you long for His peace. Until the soul is ready, He will only sometimes allow us to see that He is present everywhere and fills all things. At these moments the soul feels such joy! It feels as though it has everything! But then the Lord conceals Himself from us again, in order that we might long for Him and seek Him with our hearts!” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Bring your inner life under God’s control and your outer life will naturally reflect Him… The inner state of the people is God’s highest priority…Often the outside world seems to answer back to our inner journey.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 11:42-52, Dynamis 8/26/2015, Robert A. Johnson)

#ArchimandriteIoannikios #Dynamis #OCPM #FrankHammond #ElderThaddeusofVitovnica #LifeApplicationStudyBible #RobertAJohnson #FrJoshuaMakoul #FrBasil #FatherStephenFreeman #VeryRevVladimirBerzonsky #HierotheosVlakos

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