Flow Like Water

Flow Like Water

by Karen S Woods


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Saint John of Kronstadt taught, "Those who are trying to lead a spiritual life have to carry on a most skillful and difficult warfare, through their thoughts, every moment of their life-that is, a spiritual warfare; it is necessary that our whole soul should be every moment a clear eye, able to watch and notice the thoughts entering our heart from the evil one and repel them; the hearts of such men should be always burning with faith, humility and love; otherwise the subtlety of the Devil finds an easy access to them, followed by a diminution of faith, or entire unbelief, and then by every possible evil, which it will be difficult to wash away even by tears. Do not, therefore, allow your heart to be cold, especially during prayer, and avoid in every way cold indifference. Very often it happens that prayer is on the lips, but in the heart cunning, incredulity or unbelief, so that by the lips the man seems near to God, whilst in his heart he is far from Him. And, during our prayers, the evil one makes use of every means to chill our hearts and fill them with deceit in a most imperceptible manner to us. Pray and fortify yourself, fortify your heart."

An Orthodox Monastery is a spiritual battleground. This is a truth that the nuns of Saint Maria Skobtsova's Monastery have always known.

The nuns' work has brought them a fresh appreciation of that: in their medical clinic caring for cardiac patients; in their hospice program, caring for the dying; in their Community Supported Agriculture program, providing food for their subscribers and for themselves and their employees; and in their training program for certified nursing assistants. But most of all, they have learned this in their prayers and in the interactions of their growing community.

Yet, it wasn't until one of the nuns was slandered by an old enemy, accused of murdering a hospice patient, that the nuns of Saint Maria's Monastery, come to an intimate awareness of how very much the battle is more within the soul of each nun than exterior.

Still, St John of Kronstadt also taught, "Edifying words, the writings of the Holy Fathers, prayers, and especially the words of the Word Himself, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, are indeed living water; water runs, and the words flow like water; water refreshes and gives life to the body, and edifying words animate the soul, filling it with peace and joy, or with compunction and contrition for sin."

This, too, is something that the nuns have come to know intimately.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541036604
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/15/2017
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.48(d)

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