As Saint Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos writes so eloquently:
"Let Jesus be the sweet delight of your tongue, may Jesus be the delightful meditation of your heart, may Jesus be the thoughts in your mind. In short, may Jesus be your breath and may you never be satisfied calling upon Jesus because from this constant and most sweet memory of Jesus the three great divine virtues: faith, hope and love, will sprout and increase and become like a immense tree in your heart."
The Lord seeks our struggle. He wishes us not to be wimps but strong warriors. One can only become strong by exertion, by exercise, by striving to achieve higher and higher things. In our journey to God, in our walk with Him, there is no end to achievement and challenge. We are called to grow from glory to glory. He is the true and unending frontier.
If we walk humbly with our God, we can become His children, and live the life of angels even on earth. Fire, water, the elements of nature, even life and death are all subject to Him that loves and lives with God.
(Rev 3:20-21) "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."
A human being by walking with the Lord God becomes a god by grace as the ancient Church fathers say. God dwells with us, and if we but seek His face, there comes a time that He dwells in us so much that sometimes it even shows on the outside! A classical example is that of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. As a contemporary Orthodox Christian writer, Timothy Ware writes in his book, The Orthodox Church:
Seraphim was extraordinarily severe to himself (at one point in his life he spent a thousand successive nights in continual prayer, standing throughout the long hours of darkness on a rock), but was gentle to others, without ever being sentimental or indulgent. Asceticism did not make him gloomy, and if ever a saint’s life was illuminated by joy, it was Seraphim’s. He practiced the Jesus prayer…and he was granted visions of the Divine and Uncreated Light (of God). In Seraphim’s case the Divine Light actually took a visible form, outwardly transforming the body. One of Seraphim’s ‘spiritual children,’ Nicholas Motovilov, described what happened one winter day as the two of them were talking in the forest. Seraphim had spoken of the need to acquire the Holy Spirit, and Motovilov asked how a man could be sure of "being in the Spirit of God":
"Then Father Seraphim too me very firmly by the shoulders and said: ’My son, we are both at this moment in the Spirit of God. Why don’t you look at me?
‘I can not look, Father,’ I replied, ‘because your eyes are flashing like lightning. Your face has become brighter than the sun, and it hurts my eyes to look at you.’
‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘At this moment you yourself have become as bright as I am. You yourself are now in the fullness of the Spirit of God; otherwise you would not be able to see me as you do.’
Then bending his head towards me, he whispered softly in my ear: ‘Thank the Lord God for His infinite goodness towards us…. But why my son, do you not look me in the eyes? Just look, and don’t be afraid’ the Lord is with us.’
After these words I glanced at his face, and there came over me an even greater reverent away. Imagine in the center of the sun, in the dazzling light of its midday rays, the face of a man talking to you. You see the movement of his lips and the changing expression of his eyes, you hear his voice, you feel someone holding your shoulders; yet you do not see his hands, you do not see even yourself or his body, but only a blinding light spreading far around for several yards and lighting up with its brilliance the snow blanket which covers the forest glade and the snow flakes which continue to fall unceasingly….
‘What do you feel?’ Father Seraphim asked me.
‘An immeasurable well being,’ I said.
‘But what sort of well being? How exactly do you feel well?"
‘I feel such a calm,’ I answered, ‘such peace in my soul that no words can express it.’
‘This,’ said Father Seraphim, ‘is the peace of which the Lord said to His disciples: My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you, the peace which passes all understanding…. What else do you feel?’
‘Infinite joy in all my heart.’
And Father Seraphim continued: ‘When the Spirit of God comes down to man and overshadows him with the fullness of His presence, then the man’s soul overflows with unspeakable joy, for the Holy Spirit fills with joy whatever it touches…"
come let us speak to each other as brethren
the climb of a life time
training to be a spiritual warrior