"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
"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.
Commenting on Satan's temptation to Christ, "Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, ‘In their... Continue Reading →
"Because the death of sin has made natural death enter, with the dissolution of sin, natural death is also destroyed. Those who do not die beforehand die in truth. But those who by their own will make the person of lusts die from them through the death of this sin the death of the natural... Continue Reading →
"Pride is the extreme poverty of the soul that thinks itself to be rich and mistakes darkness for light." St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent XXIII, 23. Let us not mistake the darkness of the passions or even of ourselves as though our life lay in these things. Riches, houses, cars, bodily pleasures will... Continue Reading →
"Do not then despair of the most perfect change [repentance]. For if the devil had such great power as to cast you down from that pinnacle and height of virtue into the extremity of evil doing, much more will God be able to draw you up again to your former confidence; and not only indeed... Continue Reading →
Have you seen the insignificance [the worthlessness] of human affairs? Have you seen the frailty of power? Have you seen the wealth which I [have] always called a runaway and not a runaway only, but also a murderer. For it not only deserts those who possess it, but also slaughters them; for when any one pays attention to it then the most it does for him is to betray him. Why do you pay attention to wealth which today is yours, and tomorrow is another's? Why do you court [or attract] wealth which can never be held fast [close]? Do you desire to court it? Do you desire to hold it near? Do not bury it but give it into the hands of the poor.
"Behold, my brethren, how much a fast can do, and in what manner the law commands us to fast. It is required that not only with the body should we fast, but with the soul. Now the soul is humbled when it does not follow wicked opinions, but feeds on becoming virtues. For virtues and... Continue Reading →
There are some who are clothed in modesty on the outside but are arrayed in licentiousness within. There are some who are fasters outwardly but inwardly are gluttons and greedy.
"By those means whereby you have lost goods, by the same will you gain them back again. You owe God a penny, and He will not accept a pearl from you in its place. Having lost chastity, do not allow fornication to remain in its place and give alms because of it: God will not... Continue Reading →
I only advise you that you do not desire what belongs to others, that you impart some of your own goods to others
But the audacity of men, having regard not to what is expedient [ie good] and becoming, but to what is possible for it, began to do the contrary