Strumica Diocese: News

Veljusa ( 13.11.2005 )





Today, in the chapel of the Holy Apostle Paul and Saint Gregory Palamas in the monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Eleusa in Veljusa, Metropolitan Nahum of Strumica celebrated Hierarch’s Divine Liturgy.













“The prayer must be said with the inner voice. But since initially the nous is not accustomed to it, it forgets to say the prayer. This is why you say it at times orally and at other times noetically. This happens until the nous gets its fill and grace begins to act within. This “action” of grace is the joy and delight you feel within yourself when you say the prayer, and you want to say it continuously. So when the nous takes over the prayer and this joy that I am writing about occurs, the prayer will be said unceasingly within you, without any effort on your part. This is called perception of the action of grace, because grace acts without man’s volition. He eats, walks, sleeps, awakes, while internally he cries out the prayer continuously. And he has peace and joy… The spiritual life is divided into three stages, and grace acts in a person accordingly. The first stage is called purification, during which a person is cleansed. What you have now is the grace of purification. This form of grace leads one to repentance. All the eagerness that you have for spiritual things is due to grace alone. Nothing is your own. It secretly acts upon everything. So when you exert yourself, this grace remains with you for a certain period of time. If a person progresses with noetic prayer, he receives another form of grace which is entirely different. As we mentioned earlier, this first form of grace is called “perception of the action of grace”, and is the grace of purification. That is, one who prays feels the presence of divine energy within him. The second form of grace is called the grace of illumination. During this stage, one receives the light of knowledge and is raised to the vision of God. This does not mean seeing lights, fantasies, and images, but it means clarity of the nous, clearness of thoughts, and depth of cognition. For this to occur, the person praying must have much stillness and an unerring guide. The third stage—when grace overshadows—is the grace of perfection, truly a great gift.” (Elder Joseph the Spilaioti)