Spiritual warfare and humility
A few years ago a group of us had a synchroblog on spiritual warfare. My contribution is at Notes from underground: Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare (synchroblog). We blogged on the same topic on the same day, and linked to each other’s posts, so that we could get a variety of views on the same topic.
One thing that struck me about the synchroblog was that so few of the links still worked, and that in three years I’ve lost touch with most of the people who joined in the synchroblog. How ephemeral is the blogosphere, and indeed the Web generally!
What reminded me of this was the following post on Father Stephen Freeman’s blog:
Thus the whole of spiritual warfare wages round humility. The enemy fell from pride, and would draw us to perdition by the same means. The enemy praises us, and should the soul listen to his praise grace withdraws until she repents. Thus throughout her life the soul is occupied with the lesson of Christ-like humility. So long as she has not humility wrong thoughts and impulses will always torment her. But the humble soul finds the rest and the peace of which the Lord tells.
I remembered that in the synchroblog most of the participants were Protestants, and most of them seemed to think that spiritual warfare was a bad thing, because it was motivated by pride.
Some people have asked why Orthodox Christians are always going on about the differences between Orthodoxy and Western Christianity, and this seems to be an example. We go on about the differences because the differences are there. Thinking that spiritual warfare is all about pride, on the one hand, and thinking that it is all about humility on the other, is a pretty radical difference, and it calls for an explanation, or at least a discussion.