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OS (Text) -- 19

A useful tutor of both body and soul is the unremitting memory of death and, passing over all that is between, ever to see it [i.e. death] in advance, the very bed where, giving up the ghost, we will lie outstretched—and the remainder.

96 Brothers, it is not for him who wishes to remain forever unwounded to take his sleep, but one of the two is a necessity: either to fall and be lost, denuded of the virtues, or continually to stand, fully armed in the mind (nous). For the enemy also ever stands with his troops in battle array.

97 There occurs a certain divine condition in our mind (nous) from the continual remembrance and invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ, if we are not negligent of the continual entreaty towards him in the mind (nous), and the dense sobriety and the work (ergon) of oversight. But, really, we have ever the same work (ergon), and in the same manner accomplished, of the invocation of Jesus Christ our Lord, crying out with an inflaming of the heart so that we communicate the holy name of Jesus Christ. For even in regard to virtue and vice, continuity is the mother of habit; and habit, then, prevails as nature. And the mind (nous) having come into such a condition seeks the enemies just as a hunting dog [seeks] a hare in the brushwoods; but the latter so that it may devour, the former so that it may utterly destroy.

98 At all events, when and as often as it happens that wicked thoughts (logismoi) are multiplied in us, let us cast into the middle of them the invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and at that time we shall see them immediately dissolved like smoke in the air [cf. Ps. 36, 20; Ps. 67, 2], as experience has taught. And the mind (nous) alone having been laid hold of, at that time let us again begin the continual attention and invocation. And as often as we suffer this from temptation, let us do in this way.

99 As it is not possible to enter into war naked in body or to swim a great sea with clothes or to live without breathing, thus it is impossible without humility and continual entreaty towards Christ to learn thoroughly the intelligible and secret war, and with art to pursue closely and strike this one.

100 The great and most practical David says towards the Lord: ‘I will guard my might towards thee.’ [Ps. 58, 10.] Therefore, that the might of hearty and mental stillness (hesychia), from which thing are born all the virtues, should be guarded in us comes to [us] through our being helped by the Lord who both gives us his commandments and banishes from us the unclean insensibility (lethe)—this insensibility (lethe) certainly being destructive of stillness (hesychia) of the heart as water is of fire—when continually he is invoked by us in a loud voice. Therefore, monk, do not out of negligence sleep unto death [cf. Ps. 12, 4] but with the name of Jesus be whipping the enemies, and, as a certain wise man has said, ‘Let the name of Jesus adhere to your breath and then you will know the benefit of stillness (hesychia).’

101 When dreadfully and horribly we are found worthy, the unworthy, of the divine and immaculate Mysteries of Christ our God and King, then let us rather exhibit sobriety and keeping of the mind (nous) and exactness, so that the divine fire, that is to say, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, consume our sins and the stains both small and great. For also, entering into us, it directly drives the wicked spirits of wickedness out of the heart and it forgives the sins which previously have occurred in us and at that time it leaves the mind (nous) without the disturbance of wicked thoughts (logismoi). And, if indeed we keep our mind (nous) after this with exactness and stand in the gate of our heart [cf. Ps. 126, 5], when again we are deemed worthy of the Divine Mysteries, the Divine Body yet more and more brightens our mind (nous) and makes it into the form of a star.

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