The difference between religion and the Christian faith18 December 2021
Our religion is love, fervent love, enthusiasm, madness, divine longing. All of that’s within us. The acquisition of this is something demanded by the soul.
For many people, though, religion’s a struggle, worry and anxiety. This is why so many ‘pious’ people seem so miserable, because they’re in such a sad state.
That’s really how things stand. Because if we don’t realize the depth of religion and don’t experience it, religion degrades into a sickness and a terrible one at that. So bad that people lose control over their actions, become supine and weak, overcome with worry and stress and behave under the influence of the evil spirit.
They do prostrations, weep, supposedly humble themselves, but all this humility is a Satanic action. In fact, there are some people who experience religion as a form of hell. Inside the church they bow to the ground, make the sign of the cross and say: ‘We’re all sinners and unworthy’; but as soon as they’re outside, if anybody gets across them, they start blaspheming.
In reality, the Christian religion transforms people and cures them. But the basic requirement, if we’re going to discern the truth and recognize it, is humility. Egotism darkens the mind, confuses people, leads them into delusion and heresy. It’s important for us to understand the truth. What’s most essential is that we should abandon form and proceed to substance. Whatever we do should be done with love. Love always entails making sacrifices.
Christ doesn’t love us if we aren’t worthy of love. For him to love us, he has to find something special within us. You want, you ask, you try, you beg but you receive nothing. You prepare yourself to obtain what Christ wants: that divine grace should come upon you. But it can’t enter when what you should have is missing.
What’s that? Humility. Unless there’s humility, we can’t love Christ. Humility and selflessness in the worship of God. ‘Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing’. Let no-one see you, no-one know about the motions you go through in your worship of God. All of that should be hidden, concealed as in the case of the ascetics. Do you remember me telling you about the nightingale? It sings in the forest. In the silence. You’ll say that somebody hears it, though, somebody praises it. No, nobody does. Such beautiful singing right in the wilderness. Have you seen how its throat puffs out, fit to burst, and its tongue never stops. It sits in a cave, a ravine and experiences God secretly, ‘in ineffable sighs’.
… The whole secret is love, ardent love for Christ. Surrender to the world of the spirit. You feel neither lonely, nor anything else. You live in another world. There where the soul rejoices, where it exults and is never sated…