In the life of the same person, and throughout his
spiritual maturity, he might pass by a period of
weakness which is considered to him as being of
higher spiritual level than some passing days of his
We should find out whether this state of spiritual
weakness is permanent or is it just temporary in a
person's life…is his life always spiritually active except
some few intervals of weakness, or is his spiritual life
on the contrary always weak except for some few
periods when it is warm and active?
Also this person should find out whether this
spiritual weakness is caused by his own will, or by
outside wars? Is it a result of his carelessness, or is it
due to some external pressures?
Let's find out now the reasons behind passing by
spiritual weakness and how it attacks the soul…
1- One of the causes of Spiritual weakness is
lacking of the warmth of repentance:
A person, who has just repented, usually lives in
the warmth of his spirituals which got him out of the
darkness of sin to the acknowledgment of God. But he
doesn't usually reserve these spirituals for too long.
As days pass, he might forgets his sins, forgets his
falls and disgrace, and disregard the grace which
saved him on the first place, so he loses his
preliminary warm spirituals…!
His self rebuke soon vanishes, and his
humbleness as well, life drifts him away and he soon
David the Prophet preserved his high
spiritual life, because his sin was ever before
him, wept on it and wet his bed with his tears,
so he cannot lose his spiritual strength.
Also the Publican, who repented, standing afar off
would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven,
but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to
me a sinner.
If you were ever distant from the feelings of
repentance, and your spiritual life is weakened; listen
to Mar Avraam the Syrian's advice "He then
remembered Mary by her sin, and Israel by his
repentance." Sit and remember how much you hurt
God's heart, and weep upon your sins.
Sometimes the spiritual weakness is due to
being distant from the warm feelings and high
spirituals of repentance, because at that point
the causes which drove a person to repentance,
its effect just goes away.
The motive which leads to repentance might be
an effect of a special incident, an illness may be, a
death incidence, a temptation, this motive could be
the fear of a divine punish, or a person may be
affected by a spiritual person, by meetings or
readings…by time, this effect is less, it is forgotten or
even vanishes, then the heart falls into spiritual
weakness as a result of being apart from the warm
feelings which accompanied his repentance.
At the same time, this person might have not
even reached and felt the warmth of love. He
then becomes distant from the warmth of both
repentance and love.
2- Another cause of spiritual weakness is
lacking of spiritual bonds…
And that is a result of keeping away of grace
intermediaries, like spiritual readings, contemplations,
prayers, spiritual meetings, chants and hymns, giving
alms and attending the divine liturgies, and also
drifting away from acquiring spiritual friendships.
The world at the same time is so much
negatively affecting our lives, and on the other
hand spiritual effects are not even enough to
When a person loses his spiritual food, and is far
from positive effects, keeping away of grace
intermediaries, then his life becomes weak due to
lack of spiritual fuel which was keeping it always on.
So, you have to reconsider your life, did you
neglect something of the spiritual bonds which push
you towards God, which help reminding you of Him,
and grant you power?
3- One of the reasons which causes spiritual
weakness is the spiritual growth, when it
Growth in the spirituals gives warmth, as it is
constantly moving forward. Growth is the spirit of
progress which gives a person the strong desire of
A person whose spiritual growth stops, his
warmth as well goes away and he is weakened. This
happens when this person is happy at a certain level
at which he is and stops moving on, his life is then
frozen at that point.
The Christian perfection to which God has
asked from us when He said "Be perfect", has
no limits, so we should enthusiastically go for it.
Look at St. Paul the apostle's fight for the Bible,
look at all what was revealed to him, he was caught
up to the third heaven, and God granted him so much
miracles, wonders and signs, he said" forgetting those
things which are behind and reaching forward to
those things which are ahead". This reaching forward
to things which are ahead, was preserving his
spiritual warmth for himself, as he said "Not that I
have already attained, or am already perfected; but I
press on, that I may lay hold". This act of following
gives the soul a continuous movement; fill it with
spiritual desire, so it continues growing without
So, beware of your spiritual growth that it might
stop. Be like a battery which as long as the vehicle is
moving, its power is recharged, so it acquires more
power and give power to the vehicle as well to go
4- Another reason causing spiritual weakness is
the formalism of worship:
When the worship turns to be monotonous,
without understanding, with no soul, nor emotion,
without contemplation, turns to be work that should
The reason behind this might be the interest
to increase the amount without caring about
going into more depth.
Some worshippers want to increase the amount of
their prayers, so they hurry while praying, they don't
understand or contemplate. And their care for the
amount doesn't give them any chance to go deeper
into their prayers, and the same goes for the spiritual
readings and studying the prayers by hard.
Thus their prayers become weaker, as the desire
of increasing the amount exceeded the love of the
heart to enjoy the presence of God through prayers.
How beautiful is what St. Paul the apostle said
that he would rather speak five words with his
understanding, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Also what Mar Isaac said that if a person faces
this kind of war during praying, he should fight it back
by saying "I stood up in front of God to pray not to
prepare my words".
5- A reason that may cause spiritual weakness
is best seats:
Best seats are considered one of the main
reasons which cause the spiritual weakness, because
a person loses his humbleness, consequently he loses
his soul and his spirituals.
At first he used to enter the church with much
humbleness, feeling unworthy of even entering, so he
prays deeply asking for mercy. And then he became
one of the leaders in the church, he cares for others
even if it costs him neglecting his own soul…!
He used before to read and benefit from his
readings, to apply what he learnt on himself through
spiritual exercises, but now he might only read to
prepare for a speech or to give a lesson.
He turns into a teacher or a scientist in his
readings rather than a worshipper!
He might get so busy in researches or studies
that have nothing to do with his soul's salvation.
Things that are important only for giving his lectures…
and little by little these studies might overwhelm him
thus ignoring his own special contemplations, and his
spirituals is then weakened.
Bets seats can be a source of trouble when it
involves people's appreciation, which make him forget
his sins, lose his humbleness, making his spirituals
6- Consequently, having people entering his life
is a reason causing spiritual weakness:
Some dramatic changes in a person's spiritual life
are sometimes a result of people evolving in his life,
his interest in how they judge things and in their
opinion… those people might consider his spiritual
growth to be exceeding limits, they might see that his
strictness is a bit of suspicion, and consider his care
about something to be as if he complicates matters,
so they ask him to change, and he tries to please
them so his spirituals is weakened…
He used to do virtues as he loved
righteousness and loved God himself. And now
he is doing it in order to be a good ideal
example to other people: he stays away from
evil not because he separates evil from God, he
does so as not to offend anyone!
Thus the spiritual objective is now changed or
even deviated, and consequently the spiritual life of
this servant is weakened, as the warmth of divine
love is now away from his life, and new objectives
appeared in the way, and God is not the axis of his
7- Deviation of the spiritual objective is another
reason that causes spiritual weakness
Like when worshipping becomes only like a
model, or turns to be a habit or an obligation, the
objective turns then to be just caring about people
and try always to please them, at that point the
service becomes a goal rather than a tool, so God and
our relation with him isn't anymore the centre of
attraction of our heart and our thoughts…
8- Another reason causing spiritual weakness is
the world's overwhelming distractions
The world is so busy, most people are all the time
busy working or studying, different aspects of
activities which are means of living for many people
keeps them always busy having no time left for God
and their own spiritual life.
Unfortunately there are lots of pious people and
also servants whose life is so busy; they don't have
enough time to spend it with God!!
Their service consumed all their time, and their
life activities as well are consuming all their thoughts
and their emotions. If God might knock at their doors,
they reply "go now, and when there is enough time
we will call you"!!
They started their service on the first place
for the sake of God, and as going through it they
almost forgot God, and thought of their service
only and its matters that keep them busy so
their spiritual life becomes weak.
Few of them sit with themselves, examine where
they stand, and divide their time fairly between their
services and their spiritual life.
9- The reason which causes spiritual weakness
could be a sin or a lust:
with which when a person is captured, it takes his
love, and keeps this love always busy; God becomes
no more the centre of emotions in this heart, and
because of this lust the heat of his spiritual life which
was there cooled, and the spirituals became weak…
Everyone who feels that his spiritual life became
weak should search deep into his soul, and find out if
there is a sin which lies at the door, to which he has
granted his longings, and it ruled over him, and
occupied God's place in his heart? If so, he should
repent and get away with his life, so that he might
retain the warmth of his spiritual life…
Search for the reason which caused your
spiritual life to become weak, as the book says
"Remember therefore from where you have
fallen; repent" (RV: 2:5).
10- Pride could be also a reason that causes
weakness of the spiritual life
May be you thought of yourself being a great
thing, and when pride entered your life after
repentance, pride then entered your heart as well. So
God deprived you of his grace which He granted you
before, so that you might recognize and feel how
weak you really are and be humble instead, and
that's why God permitted spiritual weakness to come
to you in the first place…!
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