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Prelest

146 bytes added, 08:19, October 17, 2017
General information: refs
The concept of prelest is very important in Orthodox spirituality and ascetics. It is one of the main dangers for a Christian (especially monastic) starting to pray with the [[Jesus Prayer]].<ref name="piligr">[http://www.pravmir.com/the-way-of-a-pilgrim-and-bishop-ignatius-brianchaninov%E2%80%99s-teaching-on-prayer-2/ Interview with prof. A.I. Osipov. "The Way of a Pilgrim" and Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov’s) Teaching on Prayer".]</ref>
Identifying prelest in its particular manifestations is called discernment (or discrimination) of spirits. The virtue of discrimination "is greater than any other virtue; and is the queen and crown of all the virtues".<ref>Philokalia, Vol.2, St. John of Damaskos, On the Virtues and the Vices.</ref> It corresponds to a very high degree of spiritual age and requires "three renunciations" (Evagrius<ref>Evagrius. On thoughts.</ref>, St. John Cassian<ref>Conversations of John Cassian. Ch. 6.</ref>, St. John Climacus<ref>St. John Climacus. The Ladder of Divine Ascent. Ch. 2.</ref>): separation from the world, inner fight with passions, acquisition of prayer and deep spiritual knowledge. True discrimination comes after a long previous experience of fighting with passions. The source of discrimination is in the action of Divine grace and the virtue of humility.
Professor N.E. Pestov in his book<ref>{{Ru icon}}[http://azbyka.ru/tserkov/duhovnaya_zhizn/osnovy/pestov_praktika_pravoslavnogo_blagochestiya_27-all.shtml N.E. Pestov. Practice of Orthodox Devoutness.]</ref> writes that in general, the safest spiritual path in relation to prelest is to live in obedience to an experienced and holy elder, or at least to live on the advice of others. The fastest way to fall into prelest is the opposite - to trust own thoughts and not to listen to any advice.
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