Developing Good Spiritual Shape for Good Spiritual Life

Being too lazy to pray to God is the first symptom from which you can tell that your mind and soul goes dark, St. John Climacus warns. If you don’t feel like reading morning and evening prayers, you’ve got to force yourself to read them. There was a musician who used to say, “If I don’t exercise one day, I can already hear it; if I don’t exercise for two days, my friends and family will be able to notice it; if I don’t exercise for three days, everyone in the audience will be able to spot it.” Similarly, prayer can help you to be in shape if you exercise daily.

Aspiring musicians play the piano four hours a day to be successful and to earn money. They do it because they want to have stable income. Sadly, we are reluctant to sacrifice even fifteen minutes twice a day for prayer. If we miss a day or two, we will already be able to notice that but if we miss more, everyone around us will notice that…

Archimandrite Melchizedek (Artyukhin)

A Christian should always look at everything that happens “from the outside”, from the standpoint of eternity. This viewpoint allows you to see the true spiritual meaning of the events that happen. For instance, you can be outraged by someone who hurts your feelings but instead you could:

– recall whom you have wronged and view this occasion as an echo of your own wrongdoing and a punishment you deserve;

– examine your reaction and check whether you are offended, which is a sure sign of pride;

– figure out if it wasn’t your fault that made that person angry with you.

There are no accidents: either God sends us a person whom we need or we are those people whom someone needs.

Many people say that they have no time to learn about Church or the basic tenets of spiritual life. Sometimes, I ask them, “What if your priest paid you $1,000 per a confession? Would you find time for it?” I assume that if they didn’t feel that the question was loaded, their reaction would be, “How often can I confess?”

We all have twenty-four hours in a day while we’re still alive. Always. No more, no less. If you aren’t a slave or a prisoner, you can use those 24 hours as you please. If you say that you don’t have time for God, it usually means that you have other things that are more important in your eyes. Time is always an issue of priorities, and your overall busyness has nothing to do with it…

K. Borisov, a catechist.

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