Orthodox Talks – No. 32
Orthodox Talks in English - No. 32 - O Child, You Have Massacred The Demon!
We often hear that an Orthodox Christian should focus on loving Christ and being a good person, and not spend his time worrying about or discussing the demons. The same people who say this condemn those who enlighten the faithful about demonic warfare. When Elder Paisios of Mount Athos was writing the life of Elder Arsenios the Cappadocian, he was advised to omit all references to demonic possession in order to make the work more understandable for Europeans, many of whom do not believe that the devil even exists.
In this talk, Father Kosmas explains that Orthodox Christians are called spiritual athletes, spiritual warriors, and soldiers of Christ precisely because they do battle, not only with their own passions, but also with the demons. Furthermore, he emphasises that a Christian must know his enemy in order to defeat him and attain salvation.
The following questions are also discussed: why can it be dangerous to watch an exorcism? Are Christians allowed to believe some dreams? Can pride produce spiritual zeal? Why did one priest say that he prefers passionate spiritual children? How does a proud person relate to the demons? What type of war does a priest fight when performing an exorcism? Are there substitutes for exorcisms? Can the demons help one to fight heresy? What is meant by "experiential humility"? Is it the goal of spiritual struggle to attain divine gifts?
Other topics covered in this talk include: a monk's experience of hearing a voice at his door; an example of a priest who wanted to learn his future from a demon; how the Church services and prayers produce humble-mindedness; the difference between Roman Catholic and Orthodox exorcisms; black magic in Africa; the importance of opening up to one's spiritual father; spiritual warfare before confession; and one Orthodox "zealot's" horrible fantasy about women.
Talk Duration: 192 minutes
Chanting Duration: 13 minutes
With the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
The content of this talk does not necessarily
reflect the official position of ROCOR.