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Inward Presentation of Divine Reality

"Our spirit, as we have seen, is closed and stifled by many coverings. But by its nature, the human spirit is a spectator of the divine order. This capacity for contemplation is immediately ready to manifest its power, and it really does manifest itself as soon as the obstacles which have bound this capacity are removed. Therefore, in order to awaken the slumbering spirit in a man and to introduce it to contemplation of the divine order, God's grace acts either: (1) directly upon his spirit, filling it with strength and power, giving it the opportunity to tear loose from the bonds which bind it, or (2) indirectly, as if gradually shaking off these covers and nets from the spirit and by this, giving the human spirit the freedom to be in its own order.

"In its direct action, this omnipresent and all-penetrating divine grace invisibly inspires and guides a man's spirit by imprinting on the spirit the thoughts and feelings which separate it from finite and mortal things. This turns the spirit toward the other, better world, though it is invisible and unknown...

"All of the indirect means which refer to this are directed to the destruction of the fetters in which the spirit finds itself... (1) self-indulgence, (2) the world, and (3) the devil. Against these three are directed all the destructive actions of spirit-awakening grace."

- St. Theophan the Recluse, Turning the Heart to God, p.22-23 (published separately, this is the second part of The Path to Salvation).


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