Readings from Bishop Thomas

Readings from Bishop THOMAS

His Grace Bishop Thomas has long provided his flock with appropriate weekly teachings selected from his treasured collection of essays, articles, homilies and more, including many rare pieces from earlier decades of The Word.



December 31, 2014 + Converting a Psychological State into a Spiritual State

Converting a Psychological State into a Spiritual State:
According to Archimandrite Sophrony & Archimandrite Zacharias

By Rev. Father Timothy Pavlatos, Published digitally by the Greek Metropolis of San Francisco

Earlier this summer, I took a one-week trip to the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England, founded by Archimandrite Sophrony, a disciple of St. Silouan the Athonite, in 1959. This was my second trip in the last five years and it was very memorable. One of the highlights of this pilgrimage was the opportunity I had sit down with one elder, Fr. Zacharias, who spoke on a variety of topics concerning the spiritual life. In this article, I want to share with you briefly; one of the themes he shared with a few others and me. I would like to start with a quote from one of his books, The Hidden Man of the Heart (pp. 145-146).

We frequently suffer pain and hurt on the psychological level when we encounter events that crush our heart. But we must rise about the negative experiences and we do so by exploiting the heart-felt pain of a particular incident and convert it into spiritual energy. Fr. Sophrony often stressed that we must learn to transfer every psychological state – whether due to illness, the scorn of other people, persecution, or the incapacity of our nature – onto a spiritual level by means of a positive thought. And we do this simply by keeping our mind in the place where the Son of God is. We think on those things that are on high, as St. Paul advised the Philippians (cf. Phil. 4:8).

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