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OS (Text) -- 17

The property of the star is the light around it. The property of the religious man and of him who fears God, poverty and humility. For by nature there is no other token and declarative sign of the disciples of Christ than a humble-mindedness [cf. Matt. 11, 29] and a poor habit. And this the four Gospels cry out in everything. He who is not thus, that is, living humbly, falls from the share of him who humbled himself even to the Cross and death [cf. Phil. 2, 8], of him who is the practical Legislator of the Divine Gospels [cf. Matt. 5, 17–22; etc.].

84 ‘You who thirst,’ he says, ‘go for water.’ [Isa. 55, 1.] You who thirst for God, go in purity of intellect (dianoia). However, it is necessary for him who is flying on high through purity of intellect (dianoia) also to look towards the earth of his own poverty. For no one is loftier than the humble. For as when the light is not present, all is gloomy and dark, thus also when humility is not present, all things of ours are vain and the works done according to God a day out of date.

85 ‘The end of the speech, hear the whole: Fear God and guard his commandments,’ [Eccl. 12, 13] both intelligibly and sensibly. For if intelligibly you force yourself to keep them, then seldom will you need sensible toils in [keeping] them. For David says: ‘I wished to do your will and your Law in the middle of my belly.’ [Ps. 39, 9.]

86 If a man should not do the will of God and the Law in the middle of his belly, that is, in the middle of the heart, not even outside [the heart] is he able easily to accomplish this. And he who is not sober and who is indifferent will say to God ‘I do not wish to know your ways,’ [Job 21, 14] at all events from an absence of divine illumination. He who participates somewhat in that illumination is not without inner spiritual assurance but also will become sufficiently steadfast in regard to things divine.

87 Even as sensible salt seasons bread and every food and keeps some meats unrotten and long-lasting, thus concerning the guard of the mind (nous) also conceive of the intelligible seasoning and the wonderful labour. For the guard also seasons in a godly way the inner and the outer man and casts out the stink of the evil thoughts (logismoi) and keeps us long-lasting in the good [thoughts (logismoi)].

88 From assault, many thoughts (logismoi); from these, then, the wicked sensible act. He who with Jesus directly extinguishes the first, however, has avoided the rest; and he will be enriched with sweet, divine gnosis, through which he will find God who is present everywhere. Having planted the mirror of his mind (nous) firmly in him, he is enlightened continually after the likeness of clear glass and the sensible sun. And at that time the mind (nous) will take its rest from every other contemplation in him, having arrived at the last of desires.

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