Our Holy Father Isaiah the Solitary.

Commemorated July 3 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He lived in asceticism at Scetis in Egypt and then in Palestine, dying in Gaza in about 491. He is mentioned in Barsanuphius and John's book as a man of outstanding holiness (Answers: 240, 252, 311 etc.). He wrote much that was instructive for monks and solitaries, but few of his writings are extant, the majority having been destroyed by Moslems. St Isaiah said: 'The mind, before it awakens from the sleep of laziness, is with the demons.' 'The crown of all good works consists in this: that a man place all his hope in God, that he flee to Him once and for all with all his heart and strength, that he be filled with compassion for all and weep before God, imploring His help and mercy.' What is the sign that a man's sin is forgiven? 'The sign that a sin is forgiven is that the sin has no further action in your heart, and that you have so utterly forgotten it that, in speaking of such a sin, you feel no inclination to it but regard it as something totally outside you. That is the sign that you are forgiven.' Prayer and asceticism are useless to a man who conceals within himself malice towards his neighbour and the desire for revenge. 'Watch with all your strength that your mouth does not speak one thing and your heart contain something quite different.' 'The crown of good works is love; the crown of the passions is the justifying of one's sins.'

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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