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General prelest and prelest proper
'''Prelest''' (from {{lang-ru|прелесть}} - charm, seduction, {{lang-el|πλάνη - ''plani''}}), also known as: spiritual delusion, spiritual deception, delusion, illusion, – according to Holy Fathers of [[Eastern Orthodox Church]], a false spiritual state, a spiritual illness, "a wounding of human nature by falsehood" (St. [[Ignatius Brianchaninov]]).<ref name="ign">[ On Spiritual Deception. Orthodox Life, July-August 1980.]</ref> The concept of prelest should not be confused with somatic mental illness of any kind, prelest is rather a spiritual illness,<ref>{{Fr icon}} Jean-Claude Larchet, Thérapeutique des maladies mentales. L’expérience de l’Orient chrétien des premiers siècles (1992, 3rd edition 2008) ISBN 2204045187 {{Ru icon}} [ Жан-Клод Ларше, Исцеление психических болезней. Опыт христианского Востока первых веков]</ref> an illness of the soul in its personal relation to God, an illness that originate originates from vainglory, pride and demonic suggestion and that is to be cured by humility and Holy Sacraments.
==General information==
Different kinds of prelest are described by many Holy Fathers, including the Fathers of [[Philokalia]]: Saint [[Gregory of Sinai]], Saint [[Maximus the Confessor]], Saint [[Symeon the Metaphrast]], Saint [[Symeon the New Theologian]] and others.
To a A modern reader, this subject is particularly well and clearly described can find the most thorough explanation of Prelest in the writings of St. Ignatius (BrianchaninovBryanchaninov), in which where he relentlessly kept keeps the tradition traditions of the Holy Fathers.
Also some Some modern ascetics wrote about prelest including: such as elder [[Joseph the Hesychast]],<ref name="joseph">[ Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Monastic Wisdom, From letter 55.]</ref> elder [[Paisios (Eznepidis)|Paisios of the Holy Mountain]],<refname="paisios">Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Spiritual Counsels, Vol. 3. Spiritual Struggle.</ref> elder [[Daniel Katounakiotis]]<refname="daniel">{{Ru icon}} [ Elder Daniel Katounakiotis. Angelic living.]</ref> and othersalso wrote about prelest.
In Orthodox spirituality and ascetics, the The concept of prelest is very importantin 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">[ Interview with prof. A.I. Osipov. "The Way of a Pilgrim" and Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov’s) Teaching on Prayer".]</ref>
==General prelest and prelest proper==
According to Saint [[Ignatius Brianchaninov]], "Spiritual deception is the state of all men without exception, and it has been made possible by the fall of our original parents. All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it".<ref name="ign"/>
[[Theophanes (Bystrov) of Poltava|Theophan]], the Archbishop Theophan of Poltava clarifies , comments on this notionstatement of St. Ignatius briefly by setting apart "general prelest" and prelest in its "proper sense" of the word. On the bases of all the above mentioned he gives the following definition: "Briefly, the difference between 'general prelest' and prelest in the particular sense of the word can, on the basis of the above, be expressed thus. General prelest is forgetting and not noticing one's sinfulness. That which we call prelest proper is attributing to oneself righteousness when it does not actually exist. If a man thinks he is righteous, then his righteousness is not divine, but diabolical, foreign to the grace of God and to humility. One should recall the famous saying of Abba Poemen the Great: 'I prefer a man who sins and repents to one who does not sin and does not repent. The first has good thoughts, for he admits that he is sinful. But the second has false, soul-destroying thoughts, for he imagines himself to be righteous' (Bp. Ignatius, Patericon, 75)".<ref>[ Letters of Theophan, Archbishop of Poltava, Letter 31.]</ref>
==Prelest in the New Testament==
In Acts 16:16–18, Apostle Paul expels the spirit of false prophecy.
In 1 John 4:1, Apostle John writes about false prophets and trust to spirits.
In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Apostle Paul writes about false visions.
In 1 Timothy 2:14, Apostle Paul mentions the deception of Adam and Eve.
In 1 Timothy 6:20, Apostle Paul advices to avoid delusion - "oppositions of science falsely so called".
[[Saint ]] Ignatius (Brianchaninov ) notes that there are two distinct kinds of prelest:# ''self-conseit'' (pride, arrogance) – the person attributes to himself dignity before God that he does not have.# ''imagination'' – the person imagines in himself or outside something that does not exist. This kind of delusion includes false way of prayer (with imagination of Heaven, Lord [[Jesus Christ]], [[Angels]], Saints) and real visions on the same subject originating from the demons.# ''self-conseit'' (pride, arrogance) – the person attributes to himself dignity before [[God]] that he does not have. St. Ignatius says that the first kind of prelest results from the wrong action of the mind and the second - from the wrong action of the heart.
===Prelest and insanity===
According to St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, St. Gregory of Sinai,<ref name="greg">Philokalia, Vol. 4, St. Gregory of Sinai, On Commandments and Doctrines, Warnings and Promises; On Thoughts, Passions and Virtues, and Also on Stillness and Prayer: One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Texts, Ch. 131.</ref> St. Symeon the New Theologian,<ref>[ Saint Symeon the New Theologian, The Three Ways of Attention and Prayer.]</ref> Valaam Elder Schema-Abbot [[John (Alexeev)]]<ref>[ Letters of the Valaam Elder Schema-Abbot John (Alexeev), On Prayer]</ref> and other ascetics, second the first kind of prelest very often leads to insanity. The first second kind sometimes does not result is in a mental disease, but the person cannot achieve salvation being in a state of one of the seven deadly sins - pride.St. Ignatius writes about it: "This kind of prelest - is terrible: it is equally fatal for the soul as the first one, but is less evident; it rarely ends in madness, suicide, but definitely corrupts both the mind and the heart."<ref name="ign1"/> ===False visions=== According to the Holy Fathers, false visions are associated with pride. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov says that those people, who want to see visions, and whose mind is not renewed and recreated by the Holy Spirit, are filled with pride<ref name="ign1">{{Ru icon}}[ St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov). On prelest.]</ref> - that means, as writes St. Ignatius, that there is a connection between prelest of the first and the second kind. Archimandrite Seraphim (Alexiev) says: "Where there is pride and at the same time one has a vision - it can not be from God, but by all means - from the evil one."<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Archimandrite Seraphim (Alexiev). Instruction on the self-conceit and the false visions.]</ref> Romanian elder Cleopa (Ilie) specifies 7 ways of falling into delusion of false visions and dreams:<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Elder Cleopa. On dreams and visions. 2012.]</ref># Pride;# Vainglory;# Weak and inexperienced mind;# Reckless zeal;# Disobedience;# Following own will and concealment of thoughts in confession;# Not knowing self and the Divine Scriptures. If the person who saw a vision is humble, he rejects the vision as elder Cleopa also writes in his book "On dreams and visions", providing examples of different Saints from the Patericon. Elder [[Joseph the Hesychast]] says that true visions are always preceded or followed by very intense suffering and sorrows and are given by God only as a consolation.<ref>Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Monastic wisdom. Letter 37.</ref> Even if the vision is true, it is very difficult to withstand the fight with thoughts and not to get proud of the fact of the vision. "What happens after that? A person becomes the mock of the demons. They fool him with writings and visions, with dreams and revelations, with symbols and numbers, with oracles and a heap of superstitions."<ref name="joseph"/> Elder [[Paisios (Eznepidis)|Paisios of the Holy Mountain]] tells a story about a woman who had one true vision. Then the Devil suggested her a thought that she was chosen by God and she believed it. Then the demons started to torment her with different visions and revelations. In the end, she had another true vision and was told to write to elder Paisios so that he could help her.<ref name="paisios"/> So elder Paisios says that out of all her visions, only 2 were from God. False visions as any demonic action can be very harmful to the soul. Elder [[Daniel Katounakiotis]] writes in a letter about one hierodeacon by the name of Ierotheos who had a lot of visions. Even though he confessed everything, nobody of the confessors understood that this was a delusion. Then elder Sava advised him how to find out the truth. When the delusion was revealed and when the visions ceased after repeated exorcism, the injury to the soul of Ierotheos remained very serious and later he broke all monastic vows.<ref name="daniel"/> ===Self-conceit=== St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) writes that "people infected with prelest of 'conceit' are very common. Anyone who does not have a contrite spirit, who recognizes any own merits and achievements, anyone not holding steadily the teaching of the Orthodox Church, but discussing about any dogma or tradition arbitrarily, at his discretion, or according to the heterodox teaching, is in this kind of prelest. The degree of deviation and persistence of deviation determines the degree of prelest".<ref name="ign1"/> St. Ignatius also quotes St. [[Macarius the Great]] who said: "as there is no person completely free from pride: there is no person who would be completely free from the action on him of a subtle delusion called 'conceit'". There is an example when "conceit" may also result in a mental disease. Hieromartyr Bishop Arseny (Zhadanovsky) in his "Spiritual Diary" writes about one woman who was in this kind of delusion. She wanted to take the Holy Communion every day. When she was forbidden to do so, she started to serve the Divine Liturgy herself at her home. "Her case, however, ended sadly. She lost her mind and she is currently in the mental hospital."<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Hieromartyr Bishop Arseny (Zhadanovsky). Spiritual Diary.]</ref>
===False gifts===
Sometimes the demons can "help"<ref>Saints Barsanuphius and John, Guidance Toward Spiritual Life: Answers to the Questions of Disciples. Letter 421.</ref> a deluded person. This "help" can include either advices recommendations about certain things, even theological and very complicated, or can take the form of false spiritual gifts: false healing ability,<ref name="cass">[ Saint John Cassian, Conferences. Conference 15. The second conference of Abbot Nesteros. On Divine gifts. Chapter 1. Discourse of Abbot Nesteros on the threefold system of gifts.]</ref> false clairvoyance,<refname="nic">[ Living of Saint Nicetas of the Kiev Caves.]</ref> false gift of prophecy,<ref name="greg"/> false unceasing prayer,<ref name="raph">{{Ru icon}} [ Archimandrite Raphael (Karelin). The mystery of salvation. Conversations about spiritual life. Schema-Archimandrite Seraphim.]</ref> false power over demons,<ref name="cass"/> false reading of thoughts,<ref name="ant">{{Ru icon}}[ Conversations with Bishop Anthony of Sourozh. On prelest. Spas TV]</ref> false dispassion<ref>{{Ru icon}} [ Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos. Orthodox psychotherapy. Dispassion.]</ref> etc. The term "false" here means "not Divine". An inexperienced person, not knowing enough about true Divine gifts, can easily accept such false gift as being Divine. Usually, such false gifts or "help" are is sent to an already conceited person, i. e. being in prelest of the first second kind.<ref>[ Excerpts from the Letters of Elder Macarius of Optina.]</ref> Metropolitan [[Anthony of Sourozh]] recalls that when he was young, he had an ability to read thoughts of other people. Once he asked God: "If this gift is not from You, dispel it". And this ability immediately disappeared.<ref name="ant"/> It is very difficult for a conceited person to decline such gift, to consider oneself unworthy of receiving it and ask God to take the gift away. If these false gifts are accepted by the deluded person, it can lead him /her into demon possession or suicide.<ref>[ The Letters of Elder John (Krestiankin).]</ref>
===Trust in dreams===
===Passion of teaching===
Passion of unauthorized teaching becomes a kind of prelest when the desire of teaching is based on the passion of pride rather than on the wish to share some information with others. Speaking about vainglory, St. [[John Climacus]] says: "Ignore him when he tells you to accept the office of bishop or abbot or teacher. It is hard to drive a dog from a butcher's counter."<ref>St. John Climacus. The ladder of Divine Ascent. Step 22.</ref> The conceited teacher often does not notice that he causes does harm to his students because they do not understand, understand incorrectly or even cannot understand at all some subject, but the teacher does not cease his teaching. Lord Jesus warns against teaching those who are unprepared and cannot understand: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6). St. [[John Chrysostom]] says that the corruption of life is the reason why the teaching is not understood.<ref>[ St. John Chrysostom. Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew. VII.]</ref> The same idea is expressed by [[Apostle Paul]]: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Elder Joseph the Hesychast writes that when one passionate person starts to teach another passionate person, the first one immediately loses the gracebecause God gives the privilege of teaching only when the teacher achieved the state of dispassion and contemplation.<ref>Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Monastic wisdom. Letter 22.</ref> Elder Joseph and St. [[Symeon the New Theologian]]<ref>{{Ru icon}} [ St. Symeon the New Theologian. Word 83.]</ref> say also says that the reason for this is teacher should know the subject from experience. Also elder Joseph notes that he witnessed many times that unless God gives will help with His grace to understand, no human efforts alone can make the privilege teaching successful. St. [[Innocent of teaching Alaska]] writes that only to those the one who know something from experience have plenty of faith and love can have a mouth and who achieved wisdom, which all hearts of the state listeners shall not be able to resist.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ St. Innocent of dispassion and contemplationAlaska. Instruction for a missionary priest.]</ref>
Also, in James 3:1, Apostle warns against unauthorized teaching. Archbishop [[Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse|Averky (Taushev)]] in his analysis of James 3:1 says that one should start teaching with the great caution and distrust to oneself.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Archbishop Averky (Taushev). Exegetic analysis of the Epistle of James.]</ref>
Regarding the teaching in the church, the rule 64 of the 6th [[Sixth Ecumenical Council ]] reads: "That a layman must not publicly make a speech or teach, thus investing himself with the dignity of a teacher, but, instead, must submit to the ordinance handed down by the Lord, and to open his ear wide to them who have received the grace of teaching ability, and to be taught by them the divine facts thoroughly. <...> If anyone be caught disobeying the present Canon, let him be excommunicated for forty days."<ref>[ Canons of the seven [[Ecumenical Councils|ecumenical councils]]. [[Quinisext Council|Quinisext Ecumenical Council]]. Rule 64]</ref> The interpretation of this canon then reads: "But if any layman chance to be experienced in discourse and modest in manner, he is not prohibited from answering and teaching in private those asking questions, as Zonaras states, and ch. 32 of Book VIII of the Apostolic Injunctions declare. For they shall be, it says, all taught of God: in which manner Apollos spoke, and taught the facts about the Lord, and in spite of the fact that he only knew the baptism of the Lord (Acts 28:25), and Aquilas and Priscilla, who taught the same Apollos the way of God more exactly".
==Prelest and Jesus prayer==
Many Orthodox Holy Fathers and modern ascetics wrote about the dangers of wrong practice of the [[Jesus Prayer]] and prayer in general: Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov, Saint [[Theophan the Recluse]], Saint Ambrosius of Optina, Saint Macarius of Optina, elder Joseph the Hesychast, Vallam elder John (Alexeev) and others.<ref name="ioann">{{Ru icon}} [ Gleanings from Holy Fathers on the dangers of the prayer of the heart.]</ref>
Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy [[Alexei Osipov|A.I. Osipov]] analyzes<ref name="piligr"/><ref name="apol">[ A.I. Ospiov. Apologetics.]</ref> the teaching on the prayer by St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) and points out that the prayer should have three properties: attention, reverence, repentance. Also humility should be the basis of the prayer as St. Ignatius says: "Today I read the declaration of St. Sisoes the Great, which I always particularly liked. A [[monk ]] said to him: 'I am in constant memory of God'. St. Sisoes responded to him: 'That is not great; it will be great when you consider yourself to be worse than any creature.' St. Sisoes continues: constant memory of God is a very elevated activity!! However, this height is very dangerous, when the ladder to it is not founded on the solid rock of humility".<ref name="apol"/>
If at least one of the following meetexists:
#the person prays without keeping the attention in the words of the prayer and imagines heavenly hosts, Lord Jesus,<ref name="clim">Saint John Climacus. The Ladder of Divine Ascent. Step 28.</ref>
#the person does not use the prayer for repentance but seeks for some "spiritual feelings",<ref name="clim"/>
#the person does not truly repent of some sins, e.g. lives in licentiousness,<ref name="ioann"/><ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Letters of elder John (Krestiankin). On Prayer.]</ref>he /she can fall into prelest.  St. Ignatius tells a story about the proper way of the prayer. A monk came to him from [[Mount Athos]]. This monk did not need warm clothes in winter because of the internal heat in his body caused by the prayer and was wearing chains. At first, St. Ignatius thought that this is a true ascetic and wanted to hear something useful from him about the prayer. But then he found out that the monk uses wrong way of prayer with exaltation and imagination. St. Ignatius gingerly asked the monk to try to keep the mind in the words of the prayer. That was enough to cure him. All his visions disappeared and he could not make them return. When the monk returned later, he no longer looked conceited. He took off the chains and could not do without warm clothes.<ref name="ign1"/>
St. Ambrose of Optina several times wrote in his letters several times that for a beginner, especially without an experienced mentor, it is much safer to start with audible verbal prayer rather with purely noetic (silent) one because many people who prayed with noetic prayer, were mentally deranged, while St. Ambrose does not know any examples of people falling into prelest with verbal prayer.
Also it is very important to confess frequently, including the confession of thoughts, as elder Joseph the Hesychast notes: "I have never seen a soul make progress in the prayer without frankly confessing secret thoughts".<ref>[ Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Monastic Wisdom, From letter 55.]</ref>
===False unceasing prayer===
Sometimes, very rarely, God gives some humble and pious individuals, who reached the highest degree of purification from passions, a gift of unceasing heart prayer.<ref name="ambr">{{Ru icon}} [ Letters of St. Ambrose of Optina. Letter 294.]</ref> That is one of the greatest blessing blessings from God that a person can receive. Many people, practicing the Jesus prayer, would like to receive such gift. But if the person is conceited, he may get a similar gift from the demons or may confuse the Divine gift with something natural.
Archimandrite Raphael (Karelin) writes about Saint [[Seraphim (Romantsov)]], elder of the Glinsk monastery, and about the importance of obedience which is required to receive the Divine grace. Once Fr. Seraphim spoke to a nun who thought of herself as having an unceasing prayer. She lived in the mountains and severely fasted. Fr. Seraphim said: "Once a day, you have to have a hot meal". She stared at Father Seraphim: "Do I have to waste the time and distract the mind from the prayer to prepare lunch?" Fr. Seraphim widely crossed himself: "Cross my heart, that you do not have any prayer and never had it". When she left, Fr. Seraphim said, "She did not understand anything. The one, who gave her the schema, he was in prelest himself. Poor soul, how much struggles she will have!"<ref name="raph"/>
Another type of false unceasing prayer is when the person just got used to the repetition of sounds. St. Seraphim (Romantsov) once said to a monk: "You do not have any prayer of Jesus: you just got used to it, as some people get used to the bad language".<ref name="raph"/>
Also St. Ambrose of Optina also writes in a letter that one person has had an unceasing prayer when asleep. And when he listened closer to what his heart was saying, he heard: "Meow" − like a cat but not the Jesus prayer.<ref name="ambr"/>
==Prelest and saints of the Roman Catholic Church==
According to Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov), some of the most respected saints of the [[Roman Catholic Church]] who were glorified since it turned to papal supremacy were in a state of prelest and therefore cannot be could not have been considered as saints. St. Ignatius provides examples of visions and other mystical experiences of St. [[Francis of Assisi]], St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Thomas à Kempis and compares them with experience of Orthodox saints of the first centuries.
Professor A.I. Osipov analyzes teachings on this subject by St. Ignatius and points at a significant difference in Orthodox and Roman Catholic view on spirituality, repentance and humility:<ref name="apol"/><ref>[ A.I. Osipov. Individual revelation and its indications.]</ref>
''Sisoes' deep understanding of his own imperfection is the main outstanding trait of all true saints and is the most important sign that their revelations where true.''
Russian philosopher [[Aleksei Losev|A.F. Losev]] analyzes Western spirituality and in particular, visions of St. Angela of Foligno: "That is not a prayer and talk conversation with God. These are very strong hallucinations on the basis of hysteria i. e. prelest".<ref>{{Ru icon}} [ A.F. Losev. Essays on Antique Symbolism and Mythology. 1930.]</ref>
Another Russian philosopher [[Mitrofan Vasilyevich Lodyzhensky|M.V. Lodyzhenskii]] compares Orthodox and Roman Catholic mystics and points at the differences in humility between St. [[Seraphim of Sarov]] and St. [[Francis of Assisi]].<ref>{{Ru icon}} [ M.V. Lodyzhenskii. Seraphim of Sarov and Francis Assisi. In: Light Invisible. 1912.]</ref> In his opinion, the reason why St. Francis did not reach the true humility is that Roman Catholic Church at that time did not have the true humility at all. The strongest evidence of the spiritual pride the author finds in the papal supremacy.
One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Texts, Ch. 132.</ref>
If the person conceals sins or thoughts in confession or does not trust to his spiritual father, he can also can fall into prelest: "Think in this wise: the Holy Spirit dwells in your confessor, and he will tell you what is right. But if you say to yourself that your confessor lives a careless life, how can the Holy Spirit dwell in him, you will suffer mightily for such thoughts, and the Lord will bring you low, and you are sure to fall into delusion".<ref>Archimandrite Sofronii. Saint Silouan the Athonite. P. 292.</ref>
Orthodox ascetics consider that there are several means to cure be cured from prelest:
# Holy Sacraments;
# Humility;
# Obedience;
# Prayer without foreign side thoughts, especially without imagining Lord [[Jesus Christ]], [[Angels]], Heaven, etc., keeping the paying attention in to the words of the prayer;# Prayer Prayers of other people of the holy life about the deluded person.# Reading the Holy Scripture; The first way to get rid of prelest is the Sacrament of Confession. If the person saw any vision, he should tell it immediately to his spiritual father not concealing anything.<ref>[ Nun Macaria, The Angel of Light and Spiritual Discernment in the Orthodox Tradition.]</ref> Other Sacraments are needed as well, but sometimes deluded persons are forbidden to take the Holy [[Communion]] by their spiritual father for some period of time, sometimes rather long (1–3 years).<ref>{{Ru icon}} Архимандрит Иоанникий (Коцонис). Афонский отечник. 2011. Стр. 352. ISBN 9785985990645</ref> Sometimes in monasteries people suffering from prelest are also given ignoble obediences to humble them. Work therapy decreases pride and demonic attacks that cause prelest.
The first way to cure prelest is the Sacrament of Confession. If the person saw any vision, he should tell it immediately to his spiritual father not concealing anything.<ref>[ Nun Macaria, The Angel of Light and Spiritual Discernment in the Orthodox Tradition.]</ref> Other Sacraments are needed as well, but sometimes deluded persons are forbidden to take the Holy Communion by their spiritual father for some period of time, sometimes rather long (1–3 years).<ref>{{Ru icon}} Архимандрит Иоанникий (Коцонис). Афонский отечник. 2011. Стр. 352. ISBN 9785985990645</ref> Also in monasteries, sometimes persons in prelest are given ignoble obediences to humble them. Nevertheless, even with Divine and human help, as Saint [[Ambrose of Optina]] notes, "It is easier to turn every sinner to repentance than to bring a deluded person to reason".<ref name="ambr"/>
==Orthodox saints who were in suffered from prelest and recovered==
When Saint Niphon, bishop of Cyprus, was an ordinary monk, he was struggling with against demons and fell into partial insanity for 4 years but later was cured.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Living of Saint Niphon of Cyprus.]</ref>
Saint [[Symeon the Stylite]] was deluded by demons who showed him a chariot wanting to take him to Heaven as it was with Prophet Elias. The chariot disappeared when St. Symeon wanted to enter it but made the sign of the Cross.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Living of Saint Symeon the Stylite]</ref>
Saint Iakovos worshiped a demon who appeared as Lord Jesus and who disappeared after Iakovos made the sign of the Cross. <ref>[ Living of Saint Iakovos.]</ref>
Saint Isaac the Recluse of the [[Monastery of the Kiev Caves |Kiev Caves]] was living in reclusion seclusion for 7 years and was deluded by a false vision of Lord Jesus. He was left by demons lying unconscious. Saints Antonius and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves were nursing him and praying about him for 2 years. After that, St. Isaac got better and in the end of his life he received the power over demons.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Living of Saint Isaac the Recluse]</ref>
Saint Nicetas of the Kiev Caves attempted an excessive feat of reclusion seclusion without sufficient experience. He was deluded by an "angel" who helped him and gave him the a false gift of clairvoyance. When the Holy Fathers of the monastery unraveled the demon tricks and casted the "angel" away, St. Nicetas lost his supernatural abilities and even could not read at all. Later, following the way of humility, St. Nicetas became the Bishop of Novgorod and received the gift of miracleworking.<ref>[http:name="nic"// Living of Saint Nicetas of the Kiev Caves]</ref>
Saint Theodore and Basil of the Caves suffered heavily from the demon tricks. St. Theodore was deluded by a vision of "angel" and false appearance of a demon in the form of St. Basil and was listening to them. Later, St. Basil brought St. Theodore to reason and convinced that it was a delusion.<ref>{{Ru icon}}[ Living of Hieromartyrs Theodore and Basil of the Caves.]</ref>
Saint [[Silouan the Athonite]] was in delusion 2 times as written in the book of elder Sofronii. Once St. Silouan accepted a vision and nobody, whom he asked about it, told him that this was a false vision. "But I was beguiled by vanity and began to see devils again. Then I knew that I had been deceived, and I made full disclosure to my confessor and asked him for his prayers; and because of his prayers I am now saved and ever beseech the Lord to grant me the spirit of humility."<ref>[Archimandrite Sofronii. "Saint Silouan, the Athonite". P. 432.</ref> ==Prelest in the liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church== The notion of prelest is used in some of the liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church.  In the Akathist to the Mother of God:<ref>[ Akathist to the Mother of God.]</ref>"For thou hast quenched the furnace of deception" (Ikos 5); "For thou hast trampled on the delusion of error" (Ikos 6).  In the [[Great Canon]] of St. [[Andrew of Crete]]:<ref>[ The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete]</ref> "I lie naked and ashamed, for the beauty of the tree, which I saw in the middle of the garden, deceived me" (Monday, Ode 2); "O God, Trinity yet One, save us from delusion, temptations and misfortune!" (Monday, Ode 3); "But you, my hopeless soul, have rather imitated Esau, surrendering to the crafty evil the beauty you inherited from God. In two ways, works and wisdom, have you been deceived and now is the time for you to change your ways" (Tuesday, Ode 4).

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