At the same time the Philokalia is FULL of extremely heavy reading about monasticism and etc. which could cause someone to think that MONASTICISM is the only way to theosis.
Has this thought ever entered into your mind? Or have you not even read the Philokalia yet...(sorry if i missed you talking about this earlier...)
The Philokalia is FULL of extremely heavy reading about monasticism, however, it is possible to be in the world and not of it.
With that being said, there are things in it that would be practical for those living in the world and then there would be things in it that would not be practical. Which is one of the reasons I wanted a commentary for the text. I would have preferred an audio commentary of a living master, because it would be more practical for our age and time. So the spiritual father, would tell you to practice this and don't practice that, implement this and don't implement that.
I hate to bust your bubble, Irenaeus, but the Church existed for a few centuries before the Philokalia, as also did the Holy Scriptures. The Philokalia has its place in the Church, but it is the Church that is THE God-ordained means to theosis, the "instrument itself to deification." If you're asking, as you are on another thread, for proof that one should belong to the Church, then maybe the Philokalia isn't right for you at this moment, since you're apparently not yet ready for its teachings.
Well I am hoping spiritual aspect will help me understand things in the church. There alot of things within the church which do not seem logical to me. Like for example:Trinity.
(Concept I don't quite understand it is like I am forcing my self to accept something which is illogical.)The need of Jesus dying on the cross for our salvation.
(I just don't get it.)The different Orthodox groups, Coptics, Greek, Latin, Indian etc.
(if all are lead by the holy spirit, why are they divided, are they not lead by the same Holy Spirit???)(which goes back to the question the need to belong to a chruch, if so which one???)
I just know that through spirituality things will start to become clearer. There is a need for spirituality (closeness to God). Fear God and He will teach you. The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.
But there is a right way to fear God and a wrong way to fear God, and only the spiritual masters or spiritual fathers, know this.
I once read, "The one who leads you to works, leads you to works and the one who leads you to the Lord, leads you to the Lord."
The following is a detailed explanation of this statement.
In the book the Art of Prayer, Igumen Chariton of Valamo quotes, Theophan the Recluse,The essence of Christian Life
People concern themselves with Christian upbringing but leave it incomplete: they neglect the most essential and most difficult side of Christian life, and dwell on what is easiest, the visible and external.
This imperfect or misdirected upbrining produces people who observe with the utmost correctness all the formal and outward rules of devout conduct, but pay little or no attention to the inward movements of the heart
and to true improvement of the inner spiritual life. They are strangers to mortal sins, but they do not heed the play of thoughts in the heart. Accordingly they sometimes pass judgements, give way to boastfulness or pride, sometimes get angry (as if this feeling were justified by the rightness of their cause), are sometimes distracted by beauty and pleasure, sometimes even offend others in fits of irritation, are sometimes too lazy to pray, or lose themselves in useless thoughts while at prayer. They are not upset about doing these thinbgs, but regard them as without significance. They have been to church, or prayed at home according to the established rule, and carried out their usual business, and so they are quite content and at peace. But they have little concern for what is happening in the heart. In the meatime it maybe forging evil, thereby taking away the whole value of their correct and pious life.
Let us now take the vase of one who has been falling somewhat short in the work of salvation; he becomes aware of this incompleteless, and sees the incorrectness of his way of life and the instablility of his efforts. And so he turns from outward to inward piety. He is led into this either by reading books about spiritual life, or by talking with those who know what the essence of Christian life is, or by dissatisfaction with his own efforts, by a certain intuition that something is lacking, and that all is not going as it should.
Despite all his correctness he has no inner peace; he lacks what was promised to true Christians, 'peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom. xiv. 17). Once this troubling thought is born in him, then by talking with people who have knowledge he will come to realize what the matter is, or he may read about it in a book. Either of these things will enable him to see the essential defect in the order of his life, namely his lack of attention to the movements within himself, and his lack of self-mastery.
He understands then that the essence of the Christian life consists in establisihng himself with the mind in the heart before God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit: in this way he is enabled to control all inward movements and all outward actions, so as to transform everything in himself, whether great or small, into the service of God the Trinity, consciously and freely offering himself wholly to God."My comment:
That is very profound. I would like a spiritual connection first. It may not be important to you, but it is important to me.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
[/color] (Matt 5:
And this is seeing with the eye of the soul, which is the heart. And this heart has to be pure. Jesus also said, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
[/color] (Matt 6: 22-23) The limbs follow the heart. When one is endowed with the Holy Spirit, He will guide you. It seems like it takes a year before you can get baptised in the Church. I was hoping to jump in with my feet first, get baptised and receive the Holy Spirit and then understanding will come. Church laws, I suspect.
Right now, I just believe going to a Church will lead me to works and not necessarily the Lord. I made an appointment to visit a priest, and the priest cancelled. Made another appointment and the priest didn't show up, and it was at his church. Everything happens for a reason.
I don't know if God is telling me, that I should first visit a spiritual teacher of the Orthodox Church first. But I am not sure which monastary to go to. Or perhaps it means I should visit the church first without meeting the priest. Or I don't know if God is telling me Christianity is not for me.
Spirituality (a real connection with God) is important to me.
So perhaps you have a better understanding of where i stand.