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Old 08-27-2004, 01:36 PM
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Friday, 14 / 27 August 2004

Forefeast of the Dormition. Prophet Micah

St. John of Karpathos, in Texts for the Monks in India:
If we truly wish to please God and to enjoy the grace of His friendship, we should present to Him an intellect that is stripped bare -- not weighed down with anything that belongs to this present life...
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 309-310, text 49)

St. Hesychios the Priest, in On Watchfulness and Holiness:
... When there are no fantasies or mental images in the heart, the intellect is established in its true nature, ready to contemplate whatever is full of delight, spiritual and close to God.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 178, text 93)

We should strive to preserve the precious gifts which preserve us from all evil... These gifts are the guarding of the intellect with the invocation of Jesus Christ, continuous insight into the heart's depths, stillness of mind unbroken even by thoughts which appear to be good, and the capacity to be empty of all thought.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 180, text 103)

Because every thought enters the heart in the form of a mental image of some sensible object, the blessed light of the Divinity will illumine the heart only when the heart is completely empty of everything and so free from all form. Indeed, this light reveals itself to the pure intellect in the measure to which the intellect is purged of all concepts.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 177, text 89)

To human beings it seems hard and difficult to still the mind so that it rests from all thoughts. Indeed, to enclose what is bodiless within the limits of the body does demand toil and struggle, not only from the uninitiated but also from those experienced in inner immaterial warfare. But he who through unceasing prayer holds the Lord Jesus within his breast will not tire in following Him, as the Prophet says (cf. Jer. 17:16.LXX). Because of Jesus' beauty and sweetness he will not desire what is merely mortal...
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 188, text 148)

... the delighted intellect delights in the light of the Lord when, free from concepts, it enters into the dawn of spiritual knowledge. By continually denying itself, it advances from the wisdom necessary for the practice of the virtues to an ineffable vision in which it contemplates holy and ineffable things. Then the heart is filled with perceptions of infinite and divine realities and sees the God of gods in its own depths, so far as this is possible. Astounded, the intellect lovingly glorifies God, the Seer and the Seen, and the Saviour of those who contemplate Him in this way.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 185, text 131)


Evagrios the Solitary, in On Prayer:
When your intellect in its great longing for God gradually withdraws from the flesh and turns away from all thoughts that have their source in your sense-perception, memory or soul-body temperament, and when it becomes full of reverence and joy, then you may conclude that you are close to the frontiers of prayer.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 62-63, text 62)

Stand on guard and protect your intellect from thoughts while you pray. Then your intellect will complete its prayer and continue in the tranquility that is natural to it. In this way He who has compassion on the ignorant will come to you, and you will receive the blessed gift of prayer.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 63, text 70)

You cannot attain pure prayer while entangled in material things and agitated by constant cares. For prayer means the shedding of thoughts.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", pp. 62-63, text 71)


St. Mark the Ascetic, in Letter to Nicolas the Solitary:
... for the soul is carried away captive through its inward assent to the thoughts with which it is constantly and sinfully occupied.
("Philokalia (Vol. 1)", p. 147)

St. Thalassios, in On Love, Self-control and Life in accordance with the Intellect:
The intellect cannot dally with any sensible object unless it entertains at least some kind of passionate feeling for it.
("Philokalia (Vol. 2)", p. 316)
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