Talk 14: Are We Seeking Salvation or Are We Deceiving Ourselves and Others?
Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas
Many Orthodox Christians participate in the life of the Church, praying, fasting, confessing, communing, singing, etc. But how many of these people are genuinely seeking their salvation? The purpose of life on earth is the salvation of one’s soul. Although most people do not think about their salvation, it comes as a surprise when we encounter this in active participants in church life. The question arises: why does this occur?
In this talk, Father Kosmas examines the danger of falling into an incorrect attitude toward the spiritual life. He explains how incorrect zeal in matters of faith, prayer, spiritual struggle, observing church rules and practices, converting others, etc., can be detrimental not only to our own spiritual lives, but also to those with whom we come into contact.
The following questions are also discussed: what are the signs of true love? Why is there so little apparent difference between Orthodox and non-Orthodox today? Why is spiritual activity so difficult in our times? Can today’s Christians pray without ceasing? Is it wrong to be in love with a non-Christian? Is it right to force someone to repent? How serious is adultery? Who is a true theologian? Do anathemas apply to those outside the Church? Do saints make mistakes, and even fall into pride? Who told Saint Anthony to mind his own business? Is compromising on spiritual matters ever permissible?
Other topics covered in this talk include: the dangerous effects of worldly distractions; the three main challenges facing Orthodox Christians; the benefit of close contact with monasteries; the devil’s attitude toward those who seek salvation; how preoccupation with the church canons can be dangerous; converting others through prayer; the proper understanding of the church canons; humility as an antidote to pride; how church teaching is not always black and white; how Rasputin’s example can be a warning to those returning to the Church with fervent repentance; fanaticism in the Church; and prophecies regarding Christians and the last times.
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