Often what we call “experience” is nothing more than the sum of our losses. So we look fearfully at those of us who have made enough mistakes in life — and have no courage to take the next step.
At this point it is worth remembering the words of Lord Salisbury, “If you have a total belief in doctors, you will soon find that everything leads to bad health.
If you have a total belief in theologians, you will be convinced that everything is a sin. If you have a total belief in the military, you will conclude that nothing is absolutely safe.”
We must accept the passions, and not abandon the enthusiasm of the achievements; they are a part of life and we should be cheerful to all who participate.
But the Warrior of Light never loses sight of the enduring things in his life and knows that the bonds created with strength over time can distinguish between what is transitory and what’s final.
There is a moment, however, that the passions disappear without warning. Despite all his wisdom, he lets himself be overwhelmed by discouragement; from one moment to another, his faith is not the same as before, things do not happen as he dreamed, tragedies occur unexpectedly and unfairly, and he begins to believe that his prayers are no longer heard. Continue praying and attending religious services, but don’t be deceived, the heart will not respond as before, and words may seem to be meaningless.
Therefore, there is only one possible way: keep practising. Say the prayers through obligation, or fear — but keep praying. Insist, though everything seems useless.
Legend has it that after a morning praying in the monastery of Piedra, a novice asked an abbot, “Do they make God closer to us?”
“I will answer you with another question,” said the Abbot. “All those prayers you pray will they make the sun rise tomorrow?”
“Of course not! The sun rises because it obeys a universal law!”
“So that is the answer to your question. God is near to us, regardless of the prayers we say.”
The novice rebelled, “You want to say that our prayers are useless?”
“No. If you don’t get up early, you will never be able to see the sun rise. If you don’t pray, even though God is always near, you will never be able to notice His presence.”
Pray and watch, this should be the motto of the Warrior of Light. If you just watch, you’ll start seeing ghosts where none exist. If you merely pray, you will not have time to execute the works that the world sorely needs.
I’ll tell another legend, this time from Verba Seniorum, that says that Abbot John had prayed so much that he felt he did not need to worry — his passions had been unsuccessful.
The words of the Abbot reached the ears of one of the wise men of the monastery of Sceta. This drew the attention of the novices after supper.
“You have heard the Abbot say that John has no more temptation to win,” he said, “The lack of struggle weakens the soul. Let us ask the Lord to send a very powerful temptation to Abbot, and if he wins this temptation, we will ask another and another. And when he is again struggling against temptation, we pray he will never say ‘Lord, rid this demon from me.’ Let us pray for his part, ‘Lord, give me strength to confront evil.’”