The Way Of The Pilgrim

Roosh

Cardinal
Originally posted on RooshV.com

woman-church-1024x683.jpg



One of the most recommended books to me after I returned to Christ is The Way Of The Pilgrim, written by an anonymous Russian peasant in the 19th century. It focuses almost entirely on prayer, particularly the Jesus Prayer.

The importance of prayer​

The Apostle’s directive indicates that the act of prayer comes first; it comes before everything else. The Christian is expected to perform many good works, but the act of prayer is fundamental because without prayer it is not possible to do good. Without frequent prayer it is not possible to find one’s way to God, to understand truth, and to crucify the lusts of the flesh. Only fidelity to prayer will lead a person to enlightenment and union with Christ.

When it comes to persecution, almost everything can be taken away from you. You can lose your job, your home, your family, your church, and even your Bible, but they can never take away your prayer. No matter what dungeon they throw you in, or what form of torture they subject you to, you will always have the ability to pray. This tells me that it should be the most important component of my faith.

Resisting temptation​

His spiritual father gave him a copy of the Gospels and strongly urged him to read a chapter whenever he wanted to take a drink. If the desire for a drink did not leave him after he read one chapter he was encouraged to read another and if necessary still another. My brother followed this advice, and after some time he lost all desire for alcoholic beverages. It is not fifteen years since he has touched a drop of alcohol.

Along the same vein, I aim to start every day by reading the Bible for at least fifteen minutes. I let the words of the Bible remain in my mind as I face temptations and difficulties throughout the day. Another option when acute temptation arrives is to recite the Jesus Prayer.

God’s providence​

What unexpected happenings one encounters on the path of life! And always God in his divine providence is in charge of our destiny and our actions, as it is written: ‘It is God, for his own loving purpose, who puts both the will and the action into you’ (Phil. 2:13)

It’s easy to get hung up on knowing whether or not you’re serving God’s will. He doesn’t exactly give us a daily itinerary to follow, so we must make decisions on our own. However, as long as you follow His commandments, turn away from sin, and commit to prayer, you will be steered by grace into a life that does follow His will. I focus on the day-to-day struggles and let God work out the rest.

Ask God for faith​

The first condition necessary for salvation is true faith. Holy Scripture says, “Now it is impossible to please God without faith” (Heb. 11:6). He who has no faith will be judged. But it is clear from Holy Scripture that man of himself cannot give birth to faith even as small as the mustard seed; faith does not originate in us but is the gift of God; and as a spiritual gift it is given by the Holy Spirit.

What must one do then? How does man reconcile his need of faith with the impossibility of acquiring it by himself? Again Holy Scripture points to the means and also gives us examples: “Ask and you will receive.” The Apostles could not of themselves bring their faith to perfection, and so they prayed to Jesus Christ, “Lord, increase our faith.” This is an example of obtaining faith, and from this we can see that faith is attained through prayer.

For some men, like Saint Paul, the gift of faith was given unexpectantly and without asking. For others, it must be persistently asked for over a long period. I suspect that for most people, the more humility you have, the sooner you will be given faith.

Pray even when it is difficult​

Mark the Hermit says, “To make an effort to pray is in our power, but to pray purely is a gift of grace.” And so offer to God what is in your power. Begin by bringing to God a sacrifice of constancy in prayer, and God’s almighty power will swallow your weakness; your dry and distracted but frequent prayer will become a habit and second nature; your prayer will be made pure, fervent, and powerful.”

I don’t think I’ve ever prayed without worldly distractions entering my mind. I do my best to block them but they inevitably return. I see this as an annoyance that results from having grown up in a technological world with a multitude of entertainment options. Many times I have to hunker down and barrel through my prayer routine.

It’s not wrong to desire a reward from God​

It is true that to wish a reward is not the most perfect intention for doing good, but it is not against God’s will, for He Himself promises us a reward if we keep the commandments and attain perfection.

Many atheists claim that the Christian intention is impure, since we are not acting for morality’s sake but to receive a reward, but where do they think morality comes from? As a Christian, I act in love to please and honor my Creator, and if he deems me worthy of a reward, He may give it. The atheist claims they act on pure intentions, but it’s clear they are even more eager for rewards, not from God but from the world. Even an atheist who often donates to charity does it to “feel good” and signal to others that they are charitable, not solely because—as they believe—they are a “good” person, since all good comes from God.

God may use anyone to speak the truth to you​

The Fathers say that if with faith and the right attitude you ask even a Saracen, you can gain valuable insights; but without faith and the right intention, even if you ask a prophet for direction, you will not be satisfied.

It’s not always the case that I can learn only from a Christian. God uses all people to deliver the Logos. I’m a prime example—even when I was a fornicator, God did allow me to see and deliver some truth. While I don’t seek out the guidance of non-Christians, I do use discernment to evaluate if what they have to say has value or not.

Overall, I enjoyed this book for its commentary on prayer. For large sections it described “prayer of the heart,” of which I am not spiritually advanced enough to understand. Nonetheless, if you are trying to strengthen your prayer rule, this book will help.

Learn More: The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues on His Way
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EndlessGravity

Kingfisher
When it comes to persecution, almost everything can be taken away from you. You can lose your job, your home, your family, your church, and even your Bible, but they can never take away your prayer. No matter what dungeon they throw you in, or what form of torture they subject you to, you will always have the ability to pray. This tells me that it should be the most important component of my faith.

Never thought about it this way and this is powerful.
 
Many atheists claim that the Christian intention is impure, since we are not acting for morality’s sake but to receive a reward, but where do they think morality comes from? As a Christian, I act in love to please and honor my Creator, and if he deems me worthy of a reward, He may give it. The atheist claims they act on pure intentions, but it’s clear they are even more eager for rewards, not from God but from the world. Even an atheist who often donates to charity does it to “feel good” and signal to others that they are charitable, not solely because—as they believe—they are a “good” person, since all good comes from God.

What's especially misunderstood by those outside the faith, is that as a Christian grows in their spiritual maturity, and draws ever closer to Christ and His kingdom, the motivation by reward as well as motivation by fear of Hell and hope of Heaven fades away, and is a phase that is grown out of. Eventually, when one sins and stumbles, one's thoughts go from "Oh no! I'm on the road to Hell!" and is transfigured into "I am a wretch and a shame to my Father. I have let down the only one who truly loves me and is my one delight." That the Christian life ultimately isn't about avoiding Hell and getting to Heaven, but is about the deep and fulfilling joy that comes from communing and abiding in Christ through prayer, His Word and obedience to his commandments, for its own sake, as well as the love and salvation of others through Christ working through you.

In fact, I forget where I read it or heard it from, but it is said that if one is only motivated by avoiding Hell or by 'Pascal's Wager', not only will said person not get into Heaven, but if they could they would actually be miserable there. It would essentially be like being someone's friend at gunpoint, whom you didn't really want to be friends with. Hades/Gehenna and Paradise can serve as an initial motivating carrot and stick (besides existing to satisfy God's justice,) but as one falls more in love with Christ, the necessity of that stick and carrot should fade ever more into the background until it's not even in one's sight or memory.
 

Blade Runner

Pelican
What's especially misunderstood by those outside the faith, is that as a Christian grows in their spiritual maturity, and draws ever closer to Christ and His kingdom, the motivation by reward as well as motivation by fear of Hell and hope of Heaven fades away, and is a phase that is grown out of. Eventually, when one sins and stumbles, one's thoughts go from "Oh no! I'm on the road to Hell!" and is transfigured into "I am a wretch and a shame to my Father. I have let down the only one who truly loves me and is my one delight." That the Christian life ultimately isn't about avoiding Hell and getting to Heaven, but is about the deep and fulfilling joy that comes from communing and abiding in Christ through prayer, His Word and obedience to his commandments, for its own sake, as well as the love and salvation of others through Christ working through you.

In fact, I forget where I read it or heard it from, but it is said that if one is only motivated by avoiding Hell or by 'Pascal's Wager', not only will said person not get into Heaven, but if they could they would actually be miserable there. It would essentially be like being someone's friend at gunpoint, whom you didn't really want to be friends with. Hades/Gehenna and Paradise can serve as an initial motivating carrot and stick (besides existing to satisfy God's justice,) but as one falls more in love with Christ, the necessity of that stick and carrot should fade ever more into the background until it's not even in one's sight or memory.
Bravo.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
What's especially misunderstood by those outside the faith, is that as a Christian grows in their spiritual maturity, and draws ever closer to Christ and His kingdom, the motivation by reward as well as motivation by fear of Hell and hope of Heaven fades away, and is a phase that is grown out of.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
The fear will go down, and most of your serving to God should be based on love, but you should never "grow out of" fearing God.
 

nagareboshi

Sparrow
Overall, I enjoyed this book for its commentary on prayer. For large sections it described “prayer of the heart,” of which I am not spiritually advanced enough to understand. Nonetheless, if you are trying to strengthen your prayer rule, this book will help.

I would like to discuss this topic. For anyone reading, if you are a faithful Christian in the modern western world, when would you consider yourself spiritually advanced for the prayer of the heart? The Eastern Orthodox writers mentioned it must be performed under the supervision of a spiritual father.
 
The fear will go down, and most of your serving to God should be based on love, but you should never "grow out of" fearing God.

When the word fear is used in the context of verses likes this, such as "fear God" as well as many others, it has more to do awe, reverence and respect for God than literally being scared. Though there should be a healthy fear of offending God, and thus grieving the Holy Spirit and damaging one's connection with Him. Though If one deliberately and flagrantly turns their back on God and His salvation, it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Overall there is a difference in "fear God" between "God's gonna get me!" versus "Woe is me! He has done a mighty work in my life and the world! For a miserable mortal like me, to comprehend His glory and the heights of His ways is beyond me! Why has He granted this lavish mercy to one so abominable as myself? How can I even begin to wrap my head around the depths of His Love, and the horrors of his justifiable Wrath and Chastisement?"

Yes, one should never "outgrow" a sense of the majesty and Holiness of God, which should reduce us to humble trembling before His impossibly perfect presence. While being children of God, we should never grow too "familial" with Him to the point of forgetting precisely who He is: Our Master, our King and our One True Perfect God; worthy of adoration and glorification, and not just our "buddy" whom we can just casually rattle off our wish list to:




Nevertheless, if one's primary motivation in their Christian walk is "I don't want to go to Hell!" especially after an extended period of what is supposed to be growth and maturity, that mentality is indeed a problem and something to be outgrown.
 
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Perolroosh

Chicken
When the word fear is used in the context of verses likes this, such as "fear God" as well as many others, it has more to do awe, reverence and respect for God than literally being scared. Though there should be a healthy fear of offending God, and thus grieving the Holy Spirit and damaging one's connection with Him. Though If one deliberately and flagrantly turns their back on God and His salvation, it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Overall there is a difference in "fear God" between "God's gonna get me!" versus "Woe is me! He has done a mighty work in my life and the world! For a miserable mortal like me, to comprehend His glory and the heights of His ways is beyond me! Why has He granted this lavish mercy to one so abominable as myself? How can I even begin to wrap my head around the depths of His Love, and the horrors of his justifiable Wrath and Chastisement?"

Yes, one should never "outgrow" a sense of the majesty and Holiness of God, which should reduce us to humble trembling before His impossibly perfect presence. While being children of God, we should never grow too "familial" with Him to the point of forgetting precisely who He is: Our Master, our King and our One True Perfect God; worthy of adoration and glorification, and not just our "buddy" whom we can just casually rattle off our wish list to:




Nevertheless, if one's primary motivation in their Christian walk is "I don't want to go to Hell!" especially after an extended period of what is supposed to be growth and maturity, that mentality is indeed a problem and something to be outgrown.

Yes, prayer is essential as it sustains us but It’s not just about it. It’s just about everything that happens in church nowadays. We seem to be close to the end and most of us are still living life meaningless.
 
The fear will go down, and most of your serving to God should be based on love, but you should never "grow out of" fearing God.

Upon further meditation, thought and conviction on this, I think you have a good point, in that "fear", in the more commonly understood sense, does indeed have a place. But more so in the realm of the weight of responsibility we bear as Christians in this world:

"Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” -Acts 17:30-31

 

Roosh

Cardinal
When the word fear is used in the context of verses likes this, such as "fear God" as well as many others, it has more to do awe, reverence and respect for God than literally being scared. Though there should be a healthy fear of offending God, and thus grieving the Holy Spirit and damaging one's connection with Him. Though If one deliberately and flagrantly turns their back on God and His salvation, it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.

Overall there is a difference in "fear God" between "God's gonna get me!" versus "Woe is me! He has done a mighty work in my life and the world! For a miserable mortal like me, to comprehend His glory and the heights of His ways is beyond me! Why has He granted this lavish mercy to one so abominable as myself? How can I even begin to wrap my head around the depths of His Love, and the horrors of his justifiable Wrath and Chastisement?"

Yes, one should never "outgrow" a sense of the majesty and Holiness of God, which should reduce us to humble trembling before His impossibly perfect presence. While being children of God, we should never grow too "familial" with Him to the point of forgetting precisely who He is: Our Master, our King and our One True Perfect God; worthy of adoration and glorification, and not just our "buddy" whom we can just casually rattle off our wish list to:




Nevertheless, if one's primary motivation in their Christian walk is "I don't want to go to Hell!" especially after an extended period of what is supposed to be growth and maturity, that mentality is indeed a problem and something to be outgrown.
What Church are you in? Where are you getting your Bible interpretations?
 

Eremias 21

Chicken
Originally posted on RooshV.com

woman-church-1024x683.jpg



One of the most recommended books to me after I returned to Christ is The Way Of The Pilgrim, written by an anonymous Russian peasant in the 19th century. It focuses almost entirely on prayer, particularly the Jesus Prayer.

The importance of prayer​



When it comes to persecution, almost everything can be taken away from you. You can lose your job, your home, your family, your church, and even your Bible, but they can never take away your prayer. No matter what dungeon they throw you in, or what form of torture they subject you to, you will always have the ability to pray. This tells me that it should be the most important component of my faith.

Resisting temptation​



Along the same vein, I aim to start every day by reading the Bible for at least fifteen minutes. I let the words of the Bible remain in my mind as I face temptations and difficulties throughout the day. Another option when acute temptation arrives is to recite the Jesus Prayer.

God’s providence​



It’s easy to get hung up on knowing whether or not you’re serving God’s will. He doesn’t exactly give us a daily itinerary to follow, so we must make decisions on our own. However, as long as you follow His commandments, turn away from sin, and commit to prayer, you will be steered by grace into a life that does follow His will. I focus on the day-to-day struggles and let God work out the rest.

Ask God for faith​



For some men, like Saint Paul, the gift of faith was given unexpectantly and without asking. For others, it must be persistently asked for over a long period. I suspect that for most people, the more humility you have, the sooner you will be given faith.

Pray even when it is difficult​



I don’t think I’ve ever prayed without worldly distractions entering my mind. I do my best to block them but they inevitably return. I see this as an annoyance that results from having grown up in a technological world with a multitude of entertainment options. Many times I have to hunker down and barrel through my prayer routine.

It’s not wrong to desire a reward from God​



Many atheists claim that the Christian intention is impure, since we are not acting for morality’s sake but to receive a reward, but where do they think morality comes from? As a Christian, I act in love to please and honor my Creator, and if he deems me worthy of a reward, He may give it. The atheist claims they act on pure intentions, but it’s clear they are even more eager for rewards, not from God but from the world. Even an atheist who often donates to charity does it to “feel good” and signal to others that they are charitable, not solely because—as they believe—they are a “good” person, since all good comes from God.

God may use anyone to speak the truth to you​



It’s not always the case that I can learn only from a Christian. God uses all people to deliver the Logos. I’m a prime example—even when I was a fornicator, God did allow me to see and deliver some truth. While I don’t seek out the guidance of non-Christians, I do use discernment to evaluate if what they have to say has value or not.

Overall, I enjoyed this book for its commentary on prayer. For large sections it described “prayer of the heart,” of which I am not spiritually advanced enough to understand. Nonetheless, if you are trying to strengthen your prayer rule, this book will help.

Learn More: The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues on His Way
Permalink
I enjoyed this book very much some years back. My opinion, for what it is worth, is that most of us live settled, married lives with a job and an address, or at least we are aspiring to these things. Because of that I think the people the pilgrim meets are better examples to most of us than the pilgrim himself. There's the reformed drunk mentioned in the article, there's a charitable family who devote themselves to works of mercy, there's a deserter from the army who is filled with despair, there's a betrothed priestess old believer who is caught between obeying God or her parents, and a lot of other people besides these. Anyway, I found the characters he encounters easier to relate to.
 
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