How Do I Train Myself to Love Christ with All My Heart, Soul, and Mind?

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Ethos

Recently, I listened to your podcast “The Love of Truth as the Key to Salvation.” The question that came to me is:

how do I train myself to love Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind?”

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A. By crucifying your mind, heart and soul.

- The old man must die. The passions, these must be uprooted. (The negative energy, so to speak.)

B. He must increase, we must decrease.

- The new man must be put on. The virtues must be acquired. (The positive energy, so to speak.)

{Note: The Prayer of Jesus (when practiced daily, in our prayer rule and throughout the day) helps to “accomplish” (=to be gifted) both purification and illumination, it is both at once a “negative” cleansing and a “positive” acquiring. Of course, the Holy Spirit does everything, but we have to “get out of the way,” we have to prepare the way, open the door, allow forHis entry and His working. We have to work together with him, synergy.}

C. Also: By first of all loving truth within your own soul and hating untruth within yourself.

- When one prays continually the Jesus Prayer and is watchful over his soul, he begins to notice how many lies he tells himself to justify his indulging the passions. This must come to an end. One must have the courage to face the idol they have created of themselves and smash it. If we do not hate sin, we are not worthy of Christ. (Someone who works on their inner life, on themselves, and in this way, slowly acquires philotimo, selfless love of Truth, goes two miles when asked to go one, and gives not only his jacket but the shirt off his back.)

D. By strictly following the hierarchy set down by God and never allowing the lower to supplant the higher, as, for example, is apparent in the 10 Commandments. ( #1. First love of God. #5 Honor your father and mother. When the two conflict, love the first more.) The knowledge of this hierarchy and the love of the higher things will be essential in the days of antichrist, when many will fall away because they have not loved the higher things; they will be deceived and drawn away by love of the things of this world, which the antichrist will give in abundance, including health, and security and peace.

E. Last but not at all least: loving the Holy Fathers and their lives and their writings. To be a lover of Truth is to follow the holy fathers and Saints in everything. To imitate them. To read - on a daily basis - their lives and exploits and their wisdom and to immerse oneself in their teachings. (Many Christians today are ignorant of this presupposition and think that they can be ignorant of the Holy Fathers and their teachings and that it is sufficient to blindly follow the clergy or hierarchy, as if they are infallible. Rather, we must know our faith. We must know what we mean when we confess and say the Symbol of Faith. In the days of antichrist, and even those days leading up to the antichrist, this blind following will lead many into delusion.)

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