We are to have much love for our Saviour, with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are not to divide our love between God and the world. For a beginner this means that when we pray we should struggle mightily to concentrate and avoid distractions: we are to be wholly in God. Furthermore, as St. John of Kronstadt teaches:

“Love for God begins to manifest itself, and to act in us, when we begin to love our neighbor as ourselves, and not to spare ourselves or anything belonging to us for him, as he is the image of God: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen? (I John 4:20).”

  1. We must pray often, both at church and at home. St. Gregory of Sinai says that the great gift which God gives us in Holy Baptism is buried by us, just as a treasure is buried in the ground–‘and common sense and gratitude demand that we should take good , care to unearth this treasure and bring it to light.” One of the most important ways to do this is by acquiring the habit of prayer. Blessed Theophan the Recluse explains further

“Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge [experience] of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. Through this ignorance they lose many spiritual blessings, and are slow in arriving at the virtues which make for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure.”

– 3. We must carefully read and study Holy Scripture. Although many saints had the habit of reading through the entire Psalter and New Testament every week, we should at least read the Gospel and Epistle appointed in the Church Calendar for. each day. According to St. Seraphim of Sarov, “It is very profitable ‘to occupy oneself: with the reading of the word of God in solitude, and to read the whole Bible intelligently…in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth.”