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Παρασκευή, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2018

The need for guidance by an experienced spiritual fatherMarried or unmarried spiritual father?


ΤΗΕ ROLE OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH 


The need for guidance by an experienced spiritual father
Whatever we do, we must never do it based on ourselves. We have to ask, we must have a spiritual leader. He is the one who will show us how to make progress in prayer. Not to mention, this spiritual father is the first one to be cured in advance. Beware! He cannot be just anyone.
We must find a spiritual leader, who is (spiritually) cured, one who knows the healing method of the Church by experience and not only by the books. Generally, those who have lived in the monasteries and practiced honest obedience to an Elder know this particular healing method. And I say this not because I lived in a monastery (and still do), but because this healing method is especially and almost exclusively preserved in the monasteries and not out there in the world!
Married or unmarried spiritual father?
It is totally wrong to think “I am a married person, and I should and will go for guidance to a married spiritual father, who lives in the world, because he should know better.”
What is it that he should have known better? Do you imply that the unmarried ones have not been raised in a family, and do not know what’s going on there?

But the point is not to know what’s going on and what’s not. The point is to know how to heal the other person, to know how to purify one’s soul, one’s noetic energy! Being a spiritual father, you should be able to inspire and help the person under your guidance to be purified, cooperating with the Dιvine Grace, because, if you have not done this already to yourself (by the Grace of God), you cannot show this to another person. Moreover, if people do not want to be cured in the first place, and just come to you for an opinion, despite your help and all your useful words, they will, unfortunately, simply not do what’s needed, they will not be purified.
Many people regard the Mystery of the Holy Confession as a simple (psychoanalytic) discussion, and the spiritual father as a person who just happens to possess human knowledge more than they do. Since they do not believe that he is being illumined by the Holy Spirit at this very moment of the confession process, they do not humble themselves to the “first will” of the spiritual father. Either because of ignorance or because of pride, they miss out on the help they would receive from the energy of the Holy Spirit, Who is actually the One conducting the Mystery. This way, those people degrade the Mystery down to the level of a simple conversation or exchange of opinions, and, hence, in each occasion they seek for a conversationalist spiritual father, whom THEY regard as more experienced (or obviously more convenient toward their sinful passions).
Another false distinction is between “strict” and “lenient” spiritual fathers. Like in medical practice, where there is no such thing as a strict or lenient doctor, but either physicians-healers or charlatans, so it is in the case of the spiritual fathers: There are those who offer an effective healing treatment and those, still uncured themselves, who don’t!

f. Savvas Agioreitis

To be continued...


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