One of the characteristics of a genuinely healthy spiritual life is temperance. We know in ordinary speech what sobriety means in comparison to drunkenness. One can get drunk in various ways, and not only through wine. Everything that fascinates us so much that we no longer can remember God or ourselves, nor the basic values of life: this is a form of drunkenness. It has no connection to what I have called inspiration ā€“ the inspiration of a scholar, of an artist, to whom God has given the ability to see behind the outward form to that which surrounds it: a certain depth of being, which he can draw out and express in sounds, or lines, or colours so as to make it accessible to the people around it who were blind to it. But when we forget specifically that very meaning revealed by them and create an object of delight out of that which should be an object of contemplation ā€“ then we lose our sobriety. In Church life it happens so often and so destructively, when people come to church because of the singing, or because of the emotions that are aroused by the harmony of the mystery of the divine service, when God is no longer in the centre of everything but only the experience that is the fruit of his presence. The essential feature of Orthodox piety, of Orthodox spirituality, is sobriety, which transfers everything of value and its entire meaning from itself to God.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh: Essential Writings , 132-133.

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