Fighting the War Within Ourselves

Flee for refuge to the name

My brother, the passions are afflictions; and so the Lord does not excommunicate us because of them, but He says: "Call upon me in the time of affliction; and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Ps 49:15). Therefore, when beset by any kind of passion, there is nothing more useful than to call upon the name of God. All we can do, weak as we are, is to flee for refuge to the name of Jesus. For the passions, being demons, retreat if this name is invoked.

Ss. Barsanouphios and John

The Three Spiritual Giants

If you wish to gain victory over the passions, enter within yourself through prayer and God's help; then descend into the depths of your heart and there track down these three powerful giants - forgetfulness, laziness, and ignorance. It is these three who uphold the ranks of our spiritual adversaries; supported by these three, all the other passions, returning to the heart, act, live, and gain strength in self-indulgent and uninstructed souls. But if by means of great attention and persistence of mind, and with help from above, you find those evil giants that are unbeknownst to many, you will easily drive them away with the weapons of righteousness - the remembrance of what is good, the eagerness that spurs the soul to salvation, and with knowledge from heaven.

St. Mark the Hermit

From The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology, compiled by Fr. Chariton of Valaam Monastery


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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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