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*PLEASE NOTE: Due to a poor internet connection that resulted in choppy audio, the first 20 minutes of the recording were edited out.* 
 
In our first group on The Spiritual Life by St. Theophan the Recluse, we began by looking at his 12th letter to the young woman Anastasia. He firmly emphasizes the supremacy of the spiritual in her and our lives. Our life in Christ and the pursuit of holiness must pervade all that we do. We must keep our lives ordered and directed to the eternal. In so far as we subordinate the spiritual to the intellectual and carnal aspects of our nature we cease to be human. 
 
The proper use of freedom and self-consciousness are the two elements of our lives that must be closely guarded. It is our negligence in this regard that makes us stand guilty before God.  Furthermore we must not be under the delusion that we move with equal ease up and down the degrees of life. In an instant, the choice for and elevation of the carnal brings a fall from the graced life. However, the pursuit of purity of heart and the fruit of Ascetical discipline takes many years. There is no resting from the spiritual life. 
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