"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Feeling Overwhelmed

"Certain people often become overwhelmingly distressed about the state of the world. They are vexed when they see that the will of God is not done today by others and by themselves and they suffer with the physical and psychological pain of others. This sensitivity is a gift of God. We find it most frequently among women. Souls with this sensitivity are especially receptive to the will of God. These sensitive souls have the ability to advance greatly in the life of Christ, because they love God and do not wish to cause Him vexation. They do, however, run a danger. If they do not entrust their life fully to Christ, it is possible for the evil spirit to exploit their sensitivity and to lead them to depression and despair.

"Sensitivity cannot be corrected. It can only be transformed, altered and transfigured so as to become love, joy, and worship. How? By turning upwards. By turning every sorrow into knowledge of Christ, love of Christ and worship of Christ. And Christ, who constantly waits with eagerness to help us, will give you His grace and His strength to transform sorrow into joy, into love for our fellows and worship of Him. Thus darkness will flee. Remember Saint Paul. What did he say? Now I rejoice in my sufferings.

"Let your soul devote itself to the prayer 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me' in all your worries, for everything and everyone. Don't look at what is happening to you, look at the light, at Christ, just as the child looks to its mother when something happens to it. See everything without anxiety, without depression, without strain and without stress. There is no need to exert yourselves and strain yourselves. Let your every effort be dirrected towards the light and towards acquiring the light, so that instead of devoting yourself to thoughts of despair, which do not come from the Spirit of God, you devote yourselves to the praise of God."

Elder Porphyrios, Wounded By Love: The life and the Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios (Denise Harvey: Limni, Evia, Greece, 2009) pp. 144-145.

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