When you wish to understand who you are, compare [yourself] not to who you were, but to what you were made from the beginning.Evagrius, Aphorisms, Saying 10 in Cassiday, Augustine M. Evagrius Ponticus. London: Routledge, 2006.
Pleasing the crowd
"In trying to please the crowds, you shall become like the crowds."
Seek what pleases 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
Likeness to God – Love
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.
"For he who thinks he has not sinned never corrects himself. In like manner, he is more easily able to pardon those who sin, whose conscience is disturbed by his own weakness." Origen, Homily 2 on Leviticus
Show the physician your wound
"Your wounds do not surpass the Physician's skill. Have faith; tell the Physician what ails you." St. Cyril of Jeruslaem, Baptismal Catechesis 2, 6.
Blind to Virtue or vice
"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
Repentance Must be Joined to Thanksgiving
"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 →
Renunciation is a love of Life
"Let him who has chosen to practice the ascesis of renunciation make for himself a wall of faith, a fortification of hope, and a secure grounding in love. For faith is not the abandonment but the substance of superior goods in the hope of perseverance and the love of life (cf. Heb. 11.1)." Evagrius of... Continue Reading →
"If we want to set our lives right and find peace, it is not the tolerant attitude of others that will do it for us. It will come about, rather, by our learning how to show compassion to them. If we try to avoid this hard struggle of compassion, by preferring a withdrawn and solitary... Continue Reading →
The true prisoner
"A prisoner of barbarians is bound in irons; a prisoner of the passions is bound with sadness." Evagrius Pontus, On The 8 Thoughts, Chapter 5, Tract 8. Let us see that slavery of the passions for what it truly is, slavery causing sadness.
Avarice as The Root of The Passions
"One who wishes to cut off the passions should cut out their root; for while avarice remains, there is no benefit in trimming the branches: whenever they are cut off they will immediately sprout again." Evagrius, On the Eight Thoughts, On Avarice, Chapter 2 Let us recall that for the Greek fathers, the passions are... Continue Reading →