Sunday, January 10, 2016

Searching for your spiritual doctor ( St Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain )

First, search around and learn who is the most experienced Spiritual Father, because Basil the Great says, just as people do not show their maladies and bodily wounds to just any physician, but to experienced physicians who know how to treat them, so also sins must be revealed, not to just anyone, but to those who are able to heal them: “The same fashion should be observed in the confession of sins as in the showing of bodily diseases. As then men reveal the diseases of the body not to all or to chance corners but to those who are experienced in their treatment; so also the confession of sins ought to take place in the presence of those who are able to treat them, as it is written: ‘Ye that are strong bear the infirmities of the weak’ (Rom. 15:1) – that is, take them away by your care.”

St Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain

The soul as an Arrow... ( Saint Gregory of Nyssa )

The soul as an Arrow" is a theme explored by St.Gregory of Nyssa in his Commentary on the Song of Songs.He states that the bride(who is a figure of the soul) is both struck by the arrow of God's love,and at the same time becomes herself an arrow propelled toward God:The bride praises the bowman for his good marksmanship because he hits her with his arrow.The bride says"I am wounded with love"(Song2.5)
These words indicate that the bridegroom's arrows have penetrated the depths of her heart.The Archer of these arrows is love(cf. Jn 4.8),who sends his own "chosen arrow'(cf Isa 49.2) the Only-begotten Son,to those who are saved,dipping the triple-pointed tip of the arrow in the Spirit of Life.The tip of the arrow is faith, and by it God introduces the archer into the heart along with the arrow.
As the Lord says"I and the Father are one,we will come and make our home with him"(Jn 14-23).
O beautiful wound and sweet blow by which life penetrates within!.The arrow's penetration opens up,as it were,a door and entrance for love.As soon as the bride receives the arrow of love,the imagery shifts from archery to nuptial delight...Earlier we said that the bride was the target;she now sees herself as the arrow in the bowman's hands....God treats the purified soul as a bride and as an arrow aimed at a good target. 

Saint Gregory of Nyssa