“ …In preparing for battle, do not think that you will always be victorious. Often there will be only hardship that will bring nothing but affliction. You will often see that with each desire to be careful, slips and blunders steal by and creep in. Know ahead of time that this is the way things are. You will encounter them, but do not be afraid. You are seeing all of this now beforehand; do not expect the life ahead to be anything other than one in the midst of all kinds of hostility, worries and misfortunes.

“Provide yourself with only one thing, strong courage: no matter what happens, stay with what you have begun. This alone must now be established and set for life by commitment and by steadfast perseverance. No matter how life goes, whatever successes and failures there are, you should give all of this over to God’s will.”

St. Theophan the Recluse
“The Spiritual Life”

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All who truly believe in Him and cleave to Him with all their soul are changed into His image by the power of His Resurrection.

St. Theophan the Recluse

“LORD Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me.”

“If you haven’t heard this, then listen now.
If you have never done this, begin now.”
(St Theophan the Recluse)

Penitent feelings are an essential element of true spiritual progress, and whoever evades them is deviating from the right way. Repentance is the starting point and foundation stone of our new life in Christ; and it must be present not only at the beginning but throughout our growth in this life, increasingly as we advance…. For repentance cleanses all pollution from the soul and makes it pure…. Therefore the duty of continual repentance is the same as the duty of keeping our conscience pure and irreproachable.

- St. Theophan the Recluse

If the practice of prayer is to proceed successfully, it is always essential at the outset to lay everything else aside, so that the heart is completely free of distraction. Nothing should obtrude on the mind: neither face, nor activity, nor object. At such a time all is to be driven out.

St Theophan the Recluse