by Saint Theophan the Recluse
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
I have longed for Thy salvation, O Lord,
and Thy law is my meditation.
Another sign: longing for the Lord’s salvation,
burning zeal, through the faithful fulfillment of the commandments.
Long quotations by Saint Isaac the Syrian on this zeal.
Zeal is inflamed in two ways:
fear that that good might be destroyed,
and with the desire for virtue increases in the soul.
Zeal is cooled down in two ways:
when the longing diminishes,
and with thoughts of self-assuredness.
My soul shall live and shall praise Thee,
and Thy judgments will help me.
Another sign, and way of nourishing the zeal:
the certitude (My soul shall live) that the chosen way leads directly to the goal determined by God,
with His help and protection.
He will finish it [the path]
if he does not put his faith in himself,
but rather begins gives himself up to the Lord to act in him.
Again, in this verse Theophan insists a lot on synergy:
doing our part, but relying on God alone.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost;
O seek Thy servant, for I have not forgotten Thy commandments.
The more we advance in the spiritual life,
the more we see ourselves as worthless (cf. Luke 17:10 – unprofitable servants)
The true sign of saving progress is humility.
With this feeling of worthlessness, in the expectation of salvation in the Lord,
begins the proper life in penitence,
strengthened by the pledge of an unwavering faithfulness to God’s commandments…
An unprofitable servant, a lost sheep
–these are the cries of God’s true servants,
cries that are pleasing to God and attract His benevolence.
This is a great summary of the whole psalm!
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Any reflection on these quotes?