Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

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The person who has attained spiritual knowledge not only marvels at visible things, but also is astounded by his perception of many essential things invisible to those who lack experience of this knowledge.

Thus he looks with wonder not only on the light of day, but also at the night. For the night is a benediction to all; to those practicing the virtues that pertain to the body it offers stillness and leisure; it encourages the remembrance of death and hell in those who grieve; those engaged in practicing the moral virtues it spurs to study and examine more closely the blessings they have received and the moral state of their soul.

In the words of the psalmist, "As you lie in bed, repent of what you say in your heart" (Psalms 4:4), that is, repent in the stillness of the night, remembering the lapses that occurred in the confusion of the day and disciplining yourself in hymns and spiritual songs (Colossians 3:16) -- in other words, teaching yourself to persist in prayer and psalmody through attentive meditation on what you read.

For the practice of the moral virtues is effectuated by meditating on what has happened during the day, so that during the stillness of the night we can become aware of the sins we have committed and can grieve over them. The Philokalia, Vol. III - pp. 260 - 263.







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