Other Books by Joy

ToolsTools of Spiritual Warfare

by Joy Corey

Fr. Hopko’s Introduction describes Joy’s book as a powerfully dynamic description of how we can participate in Christ’s victory over the devil, darkness, disease and death. She describes in detail the many tools (eleven in number) that Christ provides for us to be not victims but “overcomers,” describing in detail what St. Paul calls, “the whole armor of God.” She is constrained to expose and analyze, in starkest and most vivid detail, our ceaseless warfare with the devil and his evil angels, as she describes the powerful arsenal God makes available to us that we may share forever in Christ’s invincible victory.

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A Review of Tools of Spiritual Warfare, by Averky

In 2000 years of Christianity, one would think the question of “What is Christianity?” would have a fairly clear answer by now. In truth, however, two things keep this from being the case: First, the unfortunate multiplying of various denominations has created confusion, as many now separate “Christianity” and the “Church” as two separate identities (St. Hilarion Troitsky addresses this misconception best). This means that the Church being used as the standard of Truth (as it is the Body of Christ, with Christ as Its Head, guided and guarded by the Holy Spirit), is an unknown (and thus un-lived) theology; hence, we have thousands of denominations giving thousands of definitions for what Christianity is. Second, and just as related – if not more – to this book, is that even the early Church did not provide many straight definitions of what the “Church” or “Christianity” is, as it is a true Mystery. Thus, instead of definitions, we are given images. The Church is a hospital (see Met. Hierotheos Vlachos for the best resources on this), the Church is the Ark of Truth, Christianity is the co-mingling of faith and praxis, or Christianity is warfare. This last image brings to mind Christ stating that He did not come to bring peace, but the sword. But how can this be true? Joy Corey’s book provides an answer.

Though (incredibly) informative, the book is more a guide concerning how to live out that warfare, how to be a strong soldier of Christ, how to “put on the armor of Christ,” and how to fight forward in one’s spiritual life toward union with Christ and against the demons. The book contains 16 chapters and a conclusion (an excellent conclusion, at that); of those 16 chapters, numbers 4-15 (excluding chapter 6) provide 11 “tools” of spiritual combat, ranging from attentiveness, to humility, to the cursing of demons, to prayer, to the sign of the cross. The other chapters provide extra information on things such as baptism (the true beginning of the battle), on pride, on characteristics of the demons, etc.

See the rest of the review HERE

THE TOOLS OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE

by Joy Corey

Reviewed by Melpomeni N. Murdakes

 

The Lord truly is my strength and my shield” Psalm 28:7

The need to be prepared is ever before us. Just as our physical bodies grow weak from lack of use, so too our spiritual muscles atrophy when neglected. We must be as vigilant in the care of our spiritual selves as we are of our physical ones. The deeper we grow in our faith the more virulent will be the attacks. From ever side, our very culture presents us with daily opportunities to turn from our faith and turn toward sin. Relying on our own will is sure to leave us feeling desperate and alone in our struggle. Ironically, this is exactly where Satan finds us, at our most vulnerable.

Joy Corey has a solution, one born of the wisdom of our spiritual fathers. In The Tools of Spiritual Warfare, she outlines the tremendous resources we have as Orthodox Christians to aid us in confronting these assaults. Beyond describing the tools – such as Prayer, Holy Communion, Praise, Attentiveness and Humility – she goes further to illustrate the effective ways to reinforce our engagement of each of these on our journey in this life. “One of the main ways that we grow up in God is by letting the strength of God be perfected in human weakness, which produces the fruit of the Spirit.” Pg.115

How does our pride drive us deeper into the cultural abyss that threatens our salvation? How can humility bring us closer to the healing grace of our Lord and Savior? This book provides thoughtful, tactical answers that we can readily apply to our own daily struggles. The energy it takes to gird ourselves for this battle is transformative. The practice and application of each tool becomes an integral part of our spirit, fortifying our faith and connection to our Lord and Savior.

Are you longing to be better equipped to stand firm in the faith?  Then choose The Tools of Spiritual Warfare as part of your Lenten reading. One the gifts of Great Lent is the time the Church has set aside for preparation. Joy Corey’s book is a valuable guide to making the most of this precious season.