Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


...true contemplation begins the moment we become aware of sin in us...To apprehend sin in oneself is a spiritual act, impossible without grace, without the drawing near to us of Divine Light. The initial effect of the approach of this mysterious Light is that we see where we stand 'spiritually' at the particular moment. The first manifestations of this Uncreated Light do not allow us to experience it as light. It shines in a secret way, illuminating the black darkness of our inner world to disclose a spectacle that is far from joyous for us in our normal state of fallen being...This is the beginning of real contemplation - which has nothing in common with intellectual or philosophical contemplation. We become acutely conscious of sin as a sundering from the ontological source of our being...we see ourselves as prisoners of death. With death waiting at the end, another thousand years of life would seem but a deceptive flash. Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine, Chapter 5; SVS Press pg.41)

Redeeming the Time

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas