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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finding Our Way Home

Our bodies are seldom in a uniform state of health, particularly as we mature. Our minds may be in good shape but perhaps that waist line is unruly. Our digestion may be good but perhaps there is a little arthritis to contend with. It is the same with any Church community. It will have its healthy strengths and its relatively infirm weaknesses.

This variable diagnosis extends all the way through to our personal lives and our walk with God. We may be reasonably informed about our faith but how is it with our prayer life? We may be faithfully present at the services but do we find it more difficult to relate our faith to our daily lives? In the same way that we need the specialist advice of a good doctor for our physical and mental health we need the counsel of an experienced spiritual father or mother to keep us on an even keel as far as our spiritual lives are concerned.

Such spiritual guides are not easy to come by. In addition to his or her spiritual maturity such a person must have some natural and personal empathy with us as persons. As Orthodox Christians, if we don’t have a spiritual father or mother, we really need to pray and work hard toward acquiring one. This person probably will not be our parish priest, (the roles can be too easily confused), but our priest may be able to help by recommending someone.

Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) has written very powerfully on this matter.

"The Spiritual Father in Orthodox Christianity"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post Father. I have been thinking about this lately but had come to the conclusion that my desire for a Spiritual Father was self-indulgent and maximalist. Now I will carry on praying for one.


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