I’ve started reading The Mystical Marriage: Spiritual Life According to St. Maximos the Confessor, translated and edited by Archimandrite Maximos Constas. I was struck by the following words from Archimandrite Maximos’ Introduction.
To love God is something that comes naturally to us, it is something that is part of our deep and inalienable nature. In order for us to realize and experience this love, we need only stop our mind from wandering, let go of our troubled thoughts, and silence our inner noise and turmoil, at which the reality of God will come rushing towards us, a reality that has been rushing toward us from all eternity, though we are too distracted to see it. The more we empty our mind, the more it will be naturally filled with the presence and love of God, who pours Himself out to us to the extent that we open our hearts to Him.”
Letting go of our troubled thoughts! Creating space in our minds for God to dwell! These are keystones of the spiritual life, but how hard it can be in our age of constant distractions and noise.
Archimandrite Maximos Constas expands on this in his talk “Our Thoughts and Mental Health: an Orthodox Perspective.” In this talk he offers practical advice for dealing with distractions and silencing the inner noise and turmoil. The talk is so good that I try to listen to it at least once a year.