by Saint Theophan the Recluse
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
I was humbled exceedingly;
O Lord, quicken me according to Thy word.
Zeal born of faith is strongly fervent, but without self-sufficiency. He doesn’t rely on his own wisdom or righteousness, he recognizes: I was humbled exceedingly.
He counts his volition as nothing and expects everything only from grace-filled help (Rm 7,18), through prayer,
Humility is the distinguishing feature of those who are making progress.
What I can do is only “through Christ Who strengthens me (Phil 4:13), otherwise I don’t know what to do, I am blind. “I am dead in spirit to everything spiritual: Quicken me, O Lord, according to Thy word”.
Teach me to seek help only in Thy grace,
and to place the hope of my salvation only in Thy goodness,
which does not want anyone to perish.
The free-will offerings of my mouth be Thou now pleased to receive,
O Lord, and teach me Thy judgments.
The free-will offerings of my mouth = what my mouth gladly utters
Thy judgments = what has been decided by Thy will
teach me: so I can discern and “fulfill them skillfully to Thy pleasure”
Just like in the OT, in moral actions there are offerings and sacrifices directly prescribed by the law, and others left to the free will, to an ardent zeal to please God.
E.g., giving more almsgiving, praying longer.
But these need to be done not in a formal way, but with the participation of our heart.
To keep this inner zeal alive, offer this sacrifice as if it were the first time.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Any reflection on these quotes?