Spiritual Warfare: The Struggle Within

“The greatest and most perfect thing a man may desire to attain is to come near to God and dwell in union with Him.(…) In order to succeed in this, you must constantly oppose all evil in yourself and urge yourself towards good. In other words, you must ceaselessly fight against yourself and against everything that panders to your own will, that incites and supports them. So prepare yourself for this struggle and this warfare and know that the crown – attainment of your desired aim – is given to no one except to the valiant among warriors and wrestlers. But if this is the hardest of all wars – since, in fighting against ourselves, it is in ourselves that we meet opposition – victory in it is the most glorious of all; and, what is the main thing, it is most pleasing to God.(…)

Finally, after learning what constitutes Christian perfection and that to achieve it you must wage a constant cruel war with yourself, if you really desire to be victorious in this unseen warfare and be rewarded with a crown, you must plant in your heart the following four dispositions and spiritual activities, as it were arming yourself with invisible weapons, the most trust worthy and unconquerable of all, namely: a) never rely on yourself in anything; b) always bear in your heart a perfect and all-daring trust in God alone; c) strive without ceasing; and d) remain constantly in prayer.” (St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain in For the Peace from Above, edited by Fr. Hildo Bos, p 198)

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