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Preserving the Inner Life When You're Exhausted

All of us get tired and frustrated. It is in those moments of fatigue that we resort to our sins, losing our zeal for God and the desire to do His will. That's when we need to be able to rely on a set of principles that will sustain and renew us in our love and pursuit of the One who creates, redeems, and sanctifies.

"All rules should be directed towards the following primary practice: to preserve the inner spirit of life, fervency and zeal. Do such practices or exercises as will on the one hand allow your exhausted powers to be renewed, and on the other hand, mortify or muffle the passions. Thus, everything related to this should be contained in the following three sets of rules:

"1) Rules for preserving the inner spirit of zeal; 2) rules for exercising the powers for the good, or self-forcing; and 3) rules for warring with the passions, or exercising self-opposition."

- St. Theophan the Recluse. "Rules for the Beginner of an Ascetic Labor." The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation, translated from the Russian by Fr. Seraphim Rose, (Arizona: The Holy Monastery of St. Paisius, 2006), p. 220.


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