The Baptism of the Lord

Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extend that they actively observe the commandments.  – St. Mark the Ascetic, #61 of No Righteousness by Works Everyone baptized in the orthodox manner has received mystically the fulness of grace; but he becomes […]

On Dejection and Solitude

“The soul’s health is achieved not by a man’s separating himself from his fellows, but by his living the ascetic life in the company of holy men.  When we abandon our brothers for some apparently good reason, we do not eradicate the motives for dejection but merely exchange them, since the sickness which lies hidden […]

Recall the Eternal Fire

“Until a man is completely changed by repentance, he will be wise always to remember his sins with sorrow and to recall the eternal fire which they justly deserve.” – Evagrios the Solitary, On Prayer, chapter 144  Eternal fire. Judgment. Hell. Not the most attractive part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.  The monks […]

Be Angry, and Do Not Sin

“He who has mastery over his incensive power has mastery also over the demons.” – St. Evagrios the Solitary, On Discrimination (section 12, p. 46 of the Philokalia vol. 1) I do not have mastery over my incensive power. One would normally not expect a pastor to be easily-angered, but I can have a bit […]

Lose a Little in the Transaction

“When buying or selling you can hardly avoid sin.  So, in either case, be sure you lose a little in the transaction.” – Evagrios the Solitary, On Asceticism and Stillness – My wife and I are in the process of buying a house.  We have been blessed with the ability to do so, and are […]