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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.


Macrina:  (Shaking her finger, interrupted)  Is this the cause of your fears that the soul does not last forever?

Gregory:   (Answering boldly)  The Divine Word forces us to believe that the soul exists forever; we do not believe this through logic.  As a result, our grief increases since we do not know exactly if the soul exists, where and how.

Macrina:  Those who doubt the existence of the soul are alienating themselves from virtue and show they are lovers of the pleasures of the moment. 

Gregory:     How can we be steadfast in or believe in the immortality of the soul?  Virtue will always be deficient if we don't believe in this.  Virtue really cannot exist in those who do not believe in the immortality of the soul.  

Macrina:     Let us discuss the matter;  you take the opposing view then I shall present the truth.  

Gregory:     Dear sister, I present the opposing view not out of conviction but so that the truth might all the more stand out.  Let us proceed.  When someone dies, we see his body return to its elements.  But we see the soul return nowhere.  But what is nowhere certainly does not exist.       

Macrina:   (Groaning)  To think this way, as the Stoics and Epicureans, is to stay inside the house and miss the beauty of the stars outside.  The defect is not in the stars; the defect is in the small confines of the mind.  Seeing a garment, one reasons there is a weaver;  seeing a ship, there is a ship builder, seeing a house, there is a house builder.  Yet, seeing the vast universe, the same mind cannot say, "There is a creator of the universe."  They say that the water in man continues to exist after death but the soul does not?  To such minds, the reality of the divine and spiritual cannot exist.  

Gregory:     Many men doubt the existence of a divine reality underlying nature.  

Macrina:      Such foolish assumptions are unworthy of a response.  "Answer not a fool according to his folly."  "For the fool says there is not God."  Surely "the heavens declare the glory of God."  The harmony in nature, the heavens and the wonders on earth and under the sea, the balance of nature, the life cycle. The leaves fall down while vapor, contrary to gravity, rises up.  The eyes cannot but deny of a divine power, skillful and wise and in complete control.  








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