Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

vigilance

10 Entries

...every man should make it his whole concern to guard his senses and his thoughts, so as not to devise or do anything that does not seem to be in accordance with God's will. Let him prepare himself to accept patiently the things that befall him at the hands of men and demons, whether these things are pleasant or unpleasant.

Neither the one nor the other should excite him or make him give way either to senseless joy and presumption, or to dejection and despair. St. Peter of Damaskos (Book 2: Twenty-Four Discourses no. 4, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 221)



An old man said to a brother, "The devil is the enemy and you yourself are the house. The enemy never stops throwing all that he finds into your house, pouring all sorts of impurities over it. It is your part not to neglect throwing them outside again. If you do not do this the house will be filled with all sorts of impurities and you will no longer be able to get inside. But all that the other begins to throw in, you should throw out again little by little, and by the grace of Christ your house will remain pure." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40

An old man said, "Every evening and every morning a monk ought to render an account of himself and say to himself, ‘What have we not done of what God does not want, and what have we done of that which God wills?’ In this way he must live in repentance. This is what it means to be a monk, and this is how Abba Arsenius used to live." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40

An old man said, "Having arisen in the early hours, say to yourself, ‘Body, you must work to feed yourself; soul, be vigilant in order to receive the inheritance.’" Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40

An old man said, "He who loses gold or silver can find more to replace it, but he who loses time cannot find more." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40

An old man said, "Just as no one can cause harm to someone who is close to the king, no more can Satan do anything to us if our souls are close to God, for truly he said, ‘Draw near to me, and I shall be near to you.’ But since we often exalt ourselves, the enemy has no difficulty in drawing our poor souls into shameful passions." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40

Constant and unfailing vigilance is secured by prudent temperance. Constant vigilance secures a faithful following of the Gospel teaching. The Gospel teaching is the only source of all true, Christian, God-pleasing virtues…. (p. 135) The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, by St. Ignaty Brianchaninov (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1991)

In order to remain in vigilance, it is necessary to guard the freshness and brightness of the mind with all care. The mind becomes darkened from imprudent use of food, drink and sleep, from much talking, from distraction and from worldly cares. Attend to yourselves, said the Lord, be on your guard and take care that your hearts are never weighed down, dulled and depressed by self-indulgence, overeating and drinking, or worldly cares and pleasures, lest that day (the day of Christ's dread judgment, the last day of the world) catch you unawares. For it will spring like a trap upon all who are living on the face of the earth. So watch and pray at all times for the strength to escape or survive all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man [Luke 21:34-36].... (pp. 131-132) The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism, by St. Ignaty Brianchaninov (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1991)

In teaching that in one’s spiritual life one must not disregard even the most seemingly insignificant matter, the Elder sometimes repeated, “Moscow was consumed by the flames of a tiny candle.” Counsels of the Venerable Elder St. Amvrossy of Optina

One of the old men said, "When the eyes of the ox are covered he turns the mill, but if they are not covered he does not turn it. Even so does the devil. If he succeeds in covering a man’s eyes he weakens him and leads him to commit all kinds of sin, but if a man’s eyes are full of light it is easy for him to flee from the devil." Sr. Benedicta Ward, "The Wisdom of the Desert Fathers," (Oxford: SLG Press, 1986), pp. 39-40





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