“It is impossible to be delivered from the mental wolves without the aid of Christ—His almighty grace is needed to repel them, not the feeble help of man. To obtain this help a person must throw himself at the feet of Jesus Christ with extreme humility, implore Him for everything, cast all his sorrows on Him, and even more than this pray to the Mother of God and all the saints with the sincere acknowledgement of his sins and his inability to correct himself.” St Moses, p. 10
Living Without Hypocrisy: Spiritual Counsels of the Holy Elders of Optina. Translated by Archimandrite George Schaefer. Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Publications, 2005.
One of my spiritual fathers said that the most challenging and important task we have as Christians is to stay out of anxiety and fear. When we stumble into anxiety, that opens the door for spiritual attack, as we have stepped out of trust, and that opens the portal for us to come under attack by demonic forces. We’ve all been there and will be there again in the ongoing spiritual warfare and battles we fight until our last breath. The challenge is to return as quickly as possible to a state of internal peace, which is not always an easy task, especially for those who have undergone repeated health crises or traumatic events.
An impairment in brain can result without our even knowing it. I am a participant in a brain retraining course that involves healing and retraining the limbic system of the brain, which gets impaired when undergoing repeated traumas or a prolonged health crisis. The limbic system is the primitive part of our brain that goes in the flight and fight syndrome. When we are in that syndrome, a lot of intense hormones are released into our bodies, which over time effect our health and many other things. I have found actively working on retraining this part of my brain to be a tremendous support to my Orthodox prayer life and my ability to change my thoughts – thus healing my body, mind, and spirit.
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica Quotes:
Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility.
It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.
We must learn to ease the burden of thoughts that bears down upon us. As soon as we feel burdened, we must turn to the Lord and give our worries over to Him, as well as the worries and cares of our loved ones.
You must strive to have peace in your homes. Peace starts with each one of us. When we have peace in us, we spread it around to others.
If we are united with the Lord with the heart full of faith, the power of Grace works in us.
If any of you are interested in this finding out more about this course, here is the link to their website: retrainingthebrain.com. I am beginning to more fully understand that by actively working to rewire my brain combined with prayer, many things I thought were not possible to change – can change. Our thoughts do determine our lives.Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica