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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






"Do you reject Satan and his illusions?" We utter this in our baptismal promises. Then we go out and immerse  ourselves in the sea of Satan's worldly illusions. If there is one thing that Satan works for, it is to make us ignorant of the truth about the world which he zealously coats with illusions. And only the ignorant are convinced that the world is worth having.

The things that we ordinarily regard as marks of honour, emblems of power, wealth and affluence, public exposure, authority. . .these are evil poisons that delude us. They are the welcoming, smiling faces of sin.

Let's burst this bubble of illusion. Look at the rich, imagine how many dirty tricks he used to be rich. When he was poor, he underwent arrogant rebuffs. He stepped aside to greet others. He forced himself into crowds of clients as he joined the supporters of his boss. . . Now he has reached the top and people respect him, not for his character but, for his influence. Even now, imagine how he will be when he loses his influence. What a waste of time, what a circus.

And when they are wealthy, do they have peace of mind? No, they are filled with fear and anxiety that their competitors or thieves will defraud them. They drink from expensive goblets but they are worried. And their very soft beds allow them no repose.

Don't you see? These are torments in disguise. But you are deluded by the illusion. You are a captive, a slave rather than a master. You guard your riches as if they belong to someone else; and you possess your riches only inasmuch as they stop everyone else from possessing them. You call them your goods; but they have turned out to  be bad for you.

Do you think you are really secure in your mansion surrounded by security guards? No, for the fear of losing what you possess is within you and becomes greater as your riches increase.

St. Ephraim








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