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Building A Spiritual Life

article fr lourie Jul 08, 2021

How to increase your love for God.

All serious and devout Orthodox Christians are duty bound to pursue the Life in Christ, a life of holiness, to the best of their ability. Some foundational items in this pursuit are:

  1. Remembrance of God: Remembrance of God prevents sin (Psalm 9:17), we are too often forgetful of God and His love
  2. Remembrance of death: We all will face the Judgement, get out of denial (Hebrews 9:17) stop living as if you will never die. What will be your spiritual legacy?
  3. Build a prayer life: No connection to God without real prayer (1 Timothy 5:17), prayer is our communication device, not just a smartphone.
  4. Active participation in the Liturgical/Sacramental Life of the Church (Hebrews 10:25) a. Regular Confession to the pastor-This is not optional- at least once a year, before God with the priest as a witness and helper b. Weekly communion-commune as often as possible c. Daily prayer-a holy habit, morning and evening, minimum d. Spiritual reading-especially the Holy Scriptures, daily, God speaks through His written word e. Use our lending library-what are you reading?
  5. Donating time, talent and treasure to the local church first; Gifts to other organizations comes second
  6. Holy conversation: No gossip, language that uplifts, the saints, angels and God hear all
  7. Teach yourself what the Liturgical Life is!
  8. A patron saint: Do you know who this is? How do you find out? Something to learn more about.
  9. A Guardian Angel: He is always with you, how often is he embarrassed? What are angels?
  10. The Lives of the Saints: Gain some new heroes, change your mind, be inspired by their example.
  11. Actively seek God in all of life; Your life is not your own, you were bought with a price, let us commend ourselves and each other and all our life unto Christ our God.
  12. Associate with holy things and people; Surround yourself with reminders of God and the Kingdom, icons, etc.; spend time with holy people.
  13.  Pilgrimage to sane holy monasteries; Developing connections, learning holiness, raising yourself up, take a “spiritual vacation”. We spend on going places for pleasure, why not a “vacation” for your soul? Go to a monastery.
  14.  Almsgiving: Giving to help the poor, lose your love of money.
  15.  Using the Jesus Prayer: a holy habit: Pray constantly, prayer envelopes the life of a Christian.
  16.  Find Silence, God is quiet: Prayer is not asking only, but also listening, Stillness of soul is at the core of our Tradition.
  17.  Slow life down: Set boundaries, make priorities, de-clutter, use time more wisely; Christians don’t waste time
  18.  Tame the passions-working on overcoming sinful habits with a sanctified program, the ascetical life of the Church.
  19.  Be where you are-let us attend – to the present moment. Not the past, not the future, neither of those exist. God is only present in the Now.
  20.  Be watchful-guard your heart, your soul, your mind from all evil in thoughts, words and deeds. Through the eyes, images burn into the heart.
  21.  Sacrifice: What is the sacrifice you want to make to the Lord for all that He sacrificed for you? What are you willing to do to refresh your soul and be saved? What can you do to help grow the Church?

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