Seeing Yourself

Stephanos had once described to me how, one day, during a state of deep prayer, he foolishly asked God to reveal to him how he actually looked spiritually. That invocation triggered in Stephanos a negative mystical experience that led him into great despair. It plunged him into a nightmare. Erato explained to us that he almost went mad and could not keep from weeping continuously for six months. A sociable man with a wide circle of friends, Stephanos could not even appear in public because he could not control his ceaseless crying and weeping. He told me that he felt like the foulest garbage dump. He rushed to Father Maximos, who, after hearing what had happened, reprimanded him for making such a request of God. “Not even the most experienced hermits of Mount Athos would dare ask God such a thing,” he told Stephanos. It took months of close and constant monitoring and guidance from Father Maximos before Stephanos came back to his senses.

Kyriacos C. Markides, Gifts of the Desert: (New York: Doubleday, 2005), pp. 210-211.

Advertisements

About Fr Joseph Gleason

I serve as a priest at Christ the King Orthodox Mission in Omaha, Illinois, and am blessed with eight children and one lovely wife. I contribute to On Behalf of All, a simple blog about Orthodox Christianity. I also blog here at The Orthodox Life.
This entry was posted in Humility, Prayer. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s