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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana





Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the Questions of Their Disciples.


Disciple: For what purpose did the Son of God become man?

Master: To teach us to love men and to have sympathy for them when they fall; and to war constantly against the wicked demons. But if we are soft, careless, slothful and confused because of our desires for carnal pleasures, we do not war against the demons but against ourselves and our brothers.

Disciple: That is like serving the devil and, for the devilís sake, fight men?

Master: Yes.

Disciple: What must I do to avoid such servitude?

Master: Have completely no interest for earthly things; and continuous meditation on the Divine Scriptures brings the soul to the fear of God. And the fear of God leads to wisdom.

Disciple: And what is the first thing I learn from wisdom?

Master: You begin to see the demons warring against you through your own thoughts. Seeing this, you begin to fight back.

Disciple: How can I always serve God?

Master: It is impossible unless you have love, self-mastery and prayer. Love tames anger, self-mastery quenches concupiscence, while prayer elevates the mind away from worldly matters and raises it to God.

St. Maximus the Confessor





(updated 05-01-02)


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