Numb

Consider the foot. If one sits upon it or it is otherwise compressed (as with a tourniquet), the blood ceases to flow and the nerve impulses are no longer transmitted. Before, when the foot was assaulted by an outside force one immediately felt the pain and removed the foot from the source of pain. But now, the foot is numb and no longer recognizes any assaults. Great damage can be done before anything is noticed. If circulation is not restored to the foot, it will eventually die completely.

Just so with the soul. When the life-giving force (God) is cut off, the soul gradually becomes numb and no longer recognizes the outside assaults (of the demons). No actions are taken to remove oneself from the source of attack because the attacks are no longer felt; they no longer cause any spiritual distress. Without God, the soul dies just as the foot dies and will rot.

Restoring circulation to the foot causes pain but it is only temporary. One does not feel that pain and immediately re-compress the foot to avoid the pain. On the contrary, actions are taken to encourage circulation.

When the soul finally comes to realize the state of living-death it is in (sometimes because an attack has been so severe that even the numb soul feels it – and this is because God allows it to happen), to restore circulation the soul must repent. Repenting is recognizing the numb (sinful) state, removing the restriction (reopening the channels of prayer through confession), and gladly enduring the temporary pain that is caused when the soul recognizes the extent to which it allowed itself to become damaged. True repentance means the soul will be henceforth guarded, the circulation (of prayer and sacramental life) kept intact, so that when the demons attack the pains are felt immediately and the soul is removed from danger.

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