Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia
Whatever our good self does, let it not be known to the bad self. ‘Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing’. The left is our opposite self which, if it gets wind of what’s happening, will ruin everything. The opposite side is our bad self. Our self in Christ is young, but our other self’s old. It’s an art to stop the old self from finding out. It’s an art and needs the Grace of God.
There are a few secrets. The Gospel tells us we have to forestall certain things that hinder us in our struggle.
For instance, you want to experience joy from God. What’s the secret here? You may believe in it and beg for it and say ‘There’s no way God won’t give me it’. But He doesn’t. The reason is you yourselves. It’s not that God doesn’t want to give it, but the secret is your own simplicity and gentleness.
Where there’s no simplicity and you say: ‘I’ll do this and God will give me that’, it doesn’t work.
Do everything simply and gently. Don’t do anything for gain. Don’t say: ‘I’ll do that, so as to get that result’. Just do it quietly, without even thinking. Pray simply and don’t imagine in your soul what God will give you. Don’t fantasize. Don’t have a conversation with yourself about it. When you say the Jesus Prayer, just do so gently and simply, with no thought other than the Prayer.
Let your heart be simple, not devious and insincere; pure, not cunning and selfish. Everyone seeks out a simple and good soul, they find solace there, they approach without fear, without suspicion. And that soul itself lives with inner peace, it has good relations with everyone and with the whole of creation.
Good people don’t have wicked thoughts and they attract the Grace of God. It’s simplicity and gentleness above all that attract the Grace of God. These are the conditions for God to come and ‘find a dwelling-place’.
Holy Scripture is quite clear as regards simplicity: ‘Love righteousness, you judges of the earth; think of the Lord in goodness and in simplicity of heart seek him’. (Wisdom of Solomon 1, 1).
Simplicity and goodness.
This is everything, if you want to acquire Divine Grace. How many secrets there are in Holy Scripture! ‘A perverse soul’ is one that is itself badly-formed and which engineers evil. Divine Wisdom neither enters not takes possession of such a soul. Where there’s corruption and duplicity, the Grace of God doesn’t enter.
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