Sunday, August 6, 2017

Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary ( St. Nektarios of Aegina )

Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary.
  Attention rouses the soul to study itself and its longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy. 
Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it this : be attentive. 
Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep... Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory. Thoughts, desires, and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. 
Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention. One must remember the saving words of the Lord: "Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation." He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive.

St. Nektarios of Aegina

Hope in God ( Elder Joseph the Hesychast )

Question yourself as to whether this faith is within you, or perhaps you are led by worldly wisdom. And if you leave all things in the hands of God, behold! 
You have acquired faith and undoubtedly, without any question, you will find God to be your helper. And so, even should you be tried a myriad of times and should satan tempt you to abandon faith, prefer death a thousand times more and don’t obey worldly wisdom.
 In this way the door of the mysteries will be opened to you and you will be amazed how the chains of worldly wisdom previously bound you.
 Now you will fly with divine wings above the earth and breathe the new air of freedom, which, of course, others are deprived of. If, however, you see that within you, you are governed by worldly wisdom, and in the smallest danger you lose hope and despair, know that you have not yet acquired faith, and consequently also hope, in God. 
Elder Joseph the Hesychast