Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

compunction

3 Entries

A brother questioned Abba Poemen saying, "Give me a word." And he said to him, "The fathers put compunction as the beginning of every action." The brother said again, "Give me another word." The old man replied, "As far as you can, do some manual work so as to be able to give alms, for it is written that alms and faith purify from sin." The brother said, "What is faith?" The old man said, "Faith is to live humbly and to give alms." The Desert Fathers



Do you see what grief arises in a humble soul and the consolation that ensues: Indeed, self-reproach on its own, when lying for a protracted time upon the soul's thoughts like some intellectual weight, crushes and presses and squeezes out the saving wine that gladdens the heart of man (Cf.. Ps. 104:15), that is to say, our inner self. This wine is compunction. Together with grief compunction crushes the passions and, having freed the soul from the weight that oppresses it, fills it with blessed joy. That is the reason why Christ says, 'Blessed are those who grieve, for they will be consoled' (Mt. 5:4). St. Gregory Palamas, Philokalia, Vol. 4

He who has become merry with wine involuntarily speaks the truth on all subjects, and he who is drunk with compunction cannot lie. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 12: On Lying





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