Ten years ago: 9/11

Ten years ago today time momentarily came to a stop. It was unreal, and then that moment was played over and over again as if we couldn’t get out of it. We couldn’t make ourselves believe what had happened.

Ten years later that moment remains fixed in our minds, and yet time has moved on, and it is time for us to move forward as well – to continue our journey for there is hope in moving on.

“If faith represents the columns on which the temple of spiritual life stands, perseverance represent the stones by which the whole edifice is constructed but to assess the value of the spirit of persistence in prayer, we should first consider the spirit of despondency. Despondency is the folly of pride and stiffness of neck. The desperate man follows his own stubborn counsel and chooses the torment of everlasting hell. He does not wish to yield to God or accept from his hand the sweetness and the bitterness of this life. By doing so, he refuses the crown of eternal life.      

The spirit of persistence springs from an inward conviction that life is but one single way that leads to the kingdom of heaven. Persistence in walking along that way is then the only means of arrival, the only means of overcoming difficulties. Those who stop on the way, for whatever reason, have fallen into Satan’s snare: ‘Walk while you have the lighter, lest the darkness overtake you (John 12:35). That is, so long as you walk the light attends you and leads you, but if you stop, darkness – that is, the enemy – will overtake you at once. Regression is a kind of miscarriage of the soul, a failure, and a fall into its deadly pride and its strange desire for perdition: ‘No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’ (Luke 9:62) It is really amazing that for those traveling along the way of prayer and worship, rest lies only in double their pace and increasing their struggle!” (Matthew the Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life, pg. 164)