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Metropolitan of Strumica Naum: Yearn to begin seeing spiritually


In today’s Gospel reading (Luke 18: 35-43), the blind man cries out to the Lord Christ: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This condition indicates the first stage of spiritual development – the purification of the heart from passions.

This stage of spiritual development is characterized by oral-mental prayer and the purification of the energy of the mind; but also the inaccessibility of the heart for the mind and the lack of enlightenment, i.e. spiritual blindness.

In the blind man we can notice not only the persistence in the oral prayer, but also the awareness that he is blind and the need to liberate himself from that blindness. There are people who are not aware that they are spiritually blind and they see things according to their passions – which, according to the Lord, is worse than blindness (Matthew 5:29).

And how will you, by yearning, call on the Lord to open your spiritual eyes if you think you have already begun to see spiritually? Such delusion shows disbelief and unpreparedness for spiritual endeavour. And every endeavour (struggle, labour) takes time.

The blind man believes that the Lord Jesus can heal him and therefore no one, despite all the barriers (bans), can stop his prayer call to Him. This is a true manifestation of faith associated with deeds.

The same is true for us today. We need to be aware of our spiritual blindness, we need to believe that the God-Man Jesus Christ can heal us, and we need to prove our faith in action (deeds) – by calling upon His name as often as possible, without letting anyone or anything obstruct us.

When, through the oral and mental prayer calling, we gradually begin to purify the energy of the mind, and, at the same time the essence of the mind begins to be purified unconsciously, and, we will begin to acquire a graceful light that will enable us to see what we are, to see how spiritually sick and blind we are.

The Lord commanded, the blind man to be brought to Him. This is an icon of the God-given spiritual guidance through which, the one and only way, the blind man can come to Christ. He who is under true and proper spiritual guidance, and, is aware of his spiritual blindness, knows what to ask first: “Lord, let me see!”

The second condition begins when Christ made the blind man see. This condition manifests the second stage of spiritual development, which is the enlightenment of the mind through the prayer of the mind in the heart.

Enlightenment, on one hand, requires a struggle (calling) for a sufficiently purified essence of the heart from passions, and on the other hand, it is a gift of God. The purity of the heart enables the manifestation of the grace of Baptism in it, as well as the descending of the mind there. Because the mind already knows the place of the heart, it abandons oral-mental prayer and continues to pray inside the heart. There, united in prayer with God’s grace, the mind is enlightening itself.


Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner!

Metropolitan of  Strumica Naum

(10.01.2021 16:58)

Photo by: Fr. Gavril Galev

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