"Both the virtues and the vices render the mind blind—the former, so that it cannot see the vices, and the latter, so that it does not see the virtues." Evagrius, Praktikos chapter 62
"Whoever is used to praying only at such time as the knee is bent, prays very little. But whoever, even on bended knee, is distracted by any sort of wandering heart, prays not at all. And for this reason, it behoves us even before the time of prayer to be such as we would wish... Continue Reading →
For those of us who are now under the advisory to quarantine or isolate or practice social distancing, we are now finding ourselves in entirely novel territory. Where once we thought nothing of bouncing around from place to place and store to store we are now to practice some discipline about our comings and goings.... Continue Reading →
Commenting on the beginning of Psalm 106 St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches; "For he begins immediately by saying, Give thanks to the Lord,for he is good, for his mercy endures for ever (Ps 106.1).’ Exomologesis is to be understood here in the sense of thanksgiving, not in the sense of confession. He exhorts us here... Continue Reading →
"Pleasure is only a fleeting delight. Yea, pleasure quickly takes flight, and we cannot tie it down even for a few moments. For such is the destiny of human and sensible things: hardly do we possess them, and they escape us...They offer nothing solid or assured, nothing fixed or permanent. They flow away more rapidly... Continue Reading →
The blessed Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he always bore in his body the dying of Jesus (2 Cor 4.10), not as though he alone should make that boast, but also they and we too, and in this let us be followers of him, my brethren. And let this be the customary boast of... Continue Reading →
"The virtues acquired are the flesh of Christ and whoever eats it will find inner freedom. The contemplation of creatures is the blood of Christ and whoever drinks it will be enlightened by Him. The knowledge of God is the breast of Christ and whoever rests on it will be a theologian."
"Compunction without thanksgiving would be despair, sorrow that was not godly, while repentance without thanksgiving would be a presumptuous illusion". St. Mark the Ascetic Translation from Penthos: The Doctrine of Compunction in the Christian East Let us not forget that our repentance is not simply a deep sorrow. Sorrow without thanksgiving does not open us... Continue Reading →
In the age of the cell phone, instant information, constant updates and never-ending distraction, we would do well to heed the words of our forebears regarding the noon-day demon. We hate the present moment and yearn for the next one, only to hate that moment in turn. Soon we grow agitated, anxious, and dejected that life holds no meaning for me anymore. God instructs Adam and Eve that the way to combat this particularly dangerous thought is by persisting in our work and through the remembrance of death-that we live for more than the next moment we yearn for. We should become free to live here and now, towards the Kingdom.
"Why then did our Lord change the nature of water in the first of his signs? Was it not to show that the Divinity, which had changed natures in the depths of the jars, was that same [divinity[ which had changed nature in the womb of the virgin? At the completion of his signs he... Continue Reading →
God is in flesh. He is not active at intervals as he was among the prophets. Instead he possesses a humanity connatural and united to himself, and restores all humanity to himself through flesh the same as ours in kind. So then, one might say, 'How did the splendour come to all by means of... Continue Reading →
If this was the story of a mere man, it would be right and pious to hide the ‘gory details’, but if of God come to descend to our weakness (cf. Phil 2.7) then this is to be glorified. Because it is Christ’s entry into all the brokenness of humanity we should not be surprised to read of his entry through this broken, but very human line of individuals.