St. Symeon on Choosing a Spiritual Father

St. Symeon the New Theologian ca. 949-1022

Implore God with prayers and tears to send you a guide who is dispassionate and holy. But you yourself should also study the divine writings — especially the works of the fathers that deal with with the practice of the virtues — so that you can compare the teachings of your master with them; for thus you will see and observe them as in a mirror. Take to heart and keep in mind those of his teachings that agree with the divine writings, but seperate out and reject those that are false and incongruent. Otherwise you will be led astray. For in these days there are all too many deceivers and false prophets. (Practical and Theological Texts, 33)