St. Theophan the Recluse…

St. Theophan the Recluse writes, “Learn to perform everything you do in such a way that it warms the heart instead of cooling it. Whether reading or praying, working or talking with others, you should hold fast to this one aim – not to let your heart grow cool. Keep your inner stove always hot by reciting a short prayer, and watch over your feelings in case they dissipate this warmth… We should burn in our spirit, which is animated by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Why is it, then, that we do not burn in the spirit? Because we are occupied largely or even exclusively with our own personal affairs, with worldly business and public life, so that the spirit, although it still makes itself felt, is choked. In order to kindle the spirit, we must be aware of the unsatisfactory direction of our activities, especially their orientation towards earthly and worldly things; and we must enter deeply into the contemplation of what is divine, holy, heavenly, eternal. The most important thing is to begin to act in a manner that is truly spiritual. And then the spirit will start to burn: for as a result of all this, the gift of grace which lives within us will begin to grow in warmth.”

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