Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

sleep

6 Entries

A vigilant eye makes the mind pure; but much sleep hardens the soul. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 20: On Bodily Vigil, and How to Use It to Attain Spiritual Vigil, and How to Practice It



A vigilant monk is a foe to fornication, but a sleepy one is its mate. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 20: On Bodily Vigil, and How to Use It to Attain Spiritual Vigil, and How to Practice It

Just as over-drinking is a matter of habit, so too from habit comes over-sleeping. Therefore we must struggle with the question of sleep, especially in the early days of obedience, because a long-standing habit is difficult to cure. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston; Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step19: On Sleep, Prayer, and Psalmody With the Brotherhood

Let us observe and we shall find that the spiritual trumpet serves as an outward signal for the gathering of the brethren, but it is also the unseen signal for the assembly of our foes. So some of them stand by our bed, and when we get up urge us to lie down again: “Wait,” they say, “till the preliminary hymns are finished; then you can go to church.” Others plunge those standing at prayer into sleep. Some produce severe, unusual pains in the stomach. Others urge us on to make conversation in church. Some entice the mind to shameful thoughts. Others make us lean against the wall as though from fatigue. Sometimes they involve us in fits of yawning. Some of them bring on waves of laughter during prayer, thereby desiring to stir up the anger of God against us. some force us to hurry the reading or chanting merely from laziness; others suggest that we should chant more slowly for the pleasure of it; and sometimes they sit at our mouths and shut them, so that we can scarcely open them. He who reckons with feeling of heart that he stands before God in prayer shall be an unshakeable pillar, and none of the aforesaid demons will make sport of him. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston; Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step19: On Sleep, Prayer, and Psalmody With the Brotherhood

Sleep is a particular state of nature, an image of death, inactivity of the senses. Sleep is one, but, like desire, its sources and occasions are many; that is to say, it comes from nature, from food, from demons, or perhaps, sometimes, from extreme and prolonged fasting, through which the flesh is weakened and at last longs for the consolation of sleep. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston; Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step19: On Sleep, Prayer, and Psalmody With the Brotherhood

The night was not made to be spent entirely in sleep. Why did Jesus Christ pass so many nights amid the mountains, if not to instruct us by His example? It is during the night that all the plants respire, and it is then also that the soul of man is more penetrated with the dews falling from Heaven; and everything that has been scorched and burned during the day by the sun's fierce heat is refreshed and renewed during the night; and the tears we shed at night extinguish the fires of passion and quieten our guilty desires. Night heals the wounds of our soul and calms out griefs. St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Psalms.





Redeeming the Time

↑ Grab this Headline Animator





We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas