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Understanding Godís will, Spiritual burning


8. Everyone wanting to understand Godís will must first deaden the personal will within oneself. Having prayed to God with faith and simplicity, they must inquire of the fathers and brothers with a humble heart and without any doubts in their minds. And they should accept their advices as though they came from Godís lips, even though it might go against their own understanding of the matter. Those who are guided by this precept are fully humble and God does not allow them to be deceived. (John Climacus)

8. Some ascertained Godís will in the following manner. They distanced themselves from all bias toward one or the other side ó arguments for or in opposition to, on a given subject. Having stripped the mind of its personal will, they submitted to God their topic, with fervent prayers over a determined period of days. Hence they found out Godís will ó either through what the higher Reason communicated to their mind, or because one of the possible resolutions had completely lost its meaning to them. (John Climacus)

8. He, who through enlightenment from above acquired God within himself, receives quick responses about Godís will, both in matters that require expedience and those that can wait. (John Climacus)

11. We should test our intentions in all instances, because God surveys them in all our undertakings. All that is alien to passion and every type of iniquity, and is done solely for God and not for the sake of something else, is ascribed to us favorably, even though it may be imperfect. (John Climacus)

11. There are courageous souls that through their strong love of God (with a humble heart) undertake deeds beyond their strength. And there are proud hearts that take on similar tasks through the instigation of our enemies (demons), because they often cunningly stimulate us into exertions that are above our capabilities, so that we, not having reached success, would lapse into despondency and leave even those tasks that are commensurate to our strength. (John Climacus)

11. I have seen people sick in soul and body who, because of the multitude of their sins, undertook deeds that were beyond them and which they could not continue. I said to them that God judges our repentance, not by the measure of their labors but by the measure of their humility, accompanied by tears, contrition and turning away from sin. (John Climacus)

11. Sins and passions are not a part of human nature, for God is not the Creator of passions. But He implanted into our nature many virtues, among which the following can be named: mercy (for even the pagans are compassionate), love (for even dumb animals often weep at the loss of one another), faith (for it is natural to all people), hope (for when we lend, sow or labor, we hope to receive a gain from this, and when we travel, we hope to reach our destination). Hence, if love and virtue is inherent in our nature ó for love is the fulfillment of the law ó then it is clear that virtues are not alien to our make-up. And may those that want to justify their neglect through feebleness, be ashamed. (John Climacus)

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