Icons teach us not to look on reality as what we see but perceive its deeper reality. Asceticism in turn trains our spiritual perceptions to perceive reality properly in order to lead us to God.
"Do not set your will on having your affairs turn out as it seems best to you, but rather as it pleases God. Then you will be untroubled and thankful in your prayer." Evagrius of Pontus, On Prayer, 89
Prayer is a communion of the mind with God. What sort of state does the mind need so that it can reach out to its Lord without turning back and commune with him without intermediary?If Moses, when he tried to approach the earthly burning bush, was held back until he removed the sandals from his... Continue Reading →
"I wish, above all things, that you understand that no one has the power to do harm to the soul of the faithful Christian, not even the devil himself. Not only is it a wonderful thing that God has made us impervious to all treachery, but that He has fitted us for the practice of... Continue Reading →
"Let us not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ. But even though another hide it, do you seal it openly on your brow, that the demons, seeing the royal sign, may tremble and flee far away. Make this sign when eating and drinking, when sitting, lying down, rising, speaking, or walking; in a word,... Continue Reading →
"If, then, the orderly arrangement of the cosmos as a whole is a musical harmony, ‘whose designer and maker is God' (Heb 11.10), as the apostle says, and man is a miniature cosmos, and this same man has also been made an image of the one who composed the cosmos, what reason knows in the... Continue Reading →
We also possess natural virtues toward which there is an attraction of soul not from the teaching of men, but from nature itself. Thus, no lesson teaches us to hate disease, but we have of ourselves an aversion to suffering; so, too, a certain untaught rejection of evil exists in our soul. Every evil is... Continue Reading →
If you hate evil, if you are forgiving, if you do not remember yesterday’s evil, if you love your brother, if you sympathize—you have been made like God. If you forgive your enemy from the heart, you have been made like God. If you become the sort of person toward your brother, who sins against you, as God is toward you, a sinner, you have been made like God because of your good-heartedness toward your neighbor.
"By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth, but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart. In fact, just as trees with deep roots are not shattered or uprooted by storms... In the same way prayers that come from the bottom of the heart, having their roots there,... Continue Reading →
"These pleasures rule every material pursuit, but the zeal for such things achieves no goal, for there is no way, by nature, of preserving the momentary pleasure which people experience, so that the pleasure which they so zealously acquire is stored away for them. On the contrary, it is as though those who love pleasure... Continue Reading →
"Vainglory involves fantasizing about social encounters, a pretence of industriousness, the contrary of the truth, author of heresies, desire for privilege, the ultimate title, slavery to praises, a spirit with many forms, a beast with many teeth; the mean of vainglory is entwined with pride and jealousy, which are found within one another and which... Continue Reading →
"I know a man who loves God with great intensity, and yet grieves because he does not love Him as much as he would wish. His soul is ceaselessly filled with burning desire that God should be glorified in him and that he himself should be as nothing. This man does not think of what... Continue Reading →