#profile-container h2.sidebar-title {display:none;}

OS (Text) -- 22

By means of false imagination the demons ever lead us into committing sin. For also in imagination of avarice and profit they prepared the wretched Judas to deliver the Lord and God of All Things. By means of a lie, then, instead of bodily repose and honour and glory, they threw a noose about him [cf. Matt. 27, 5] and purveyed eternal death to him, the wretched things having requited him in a manner entirely opposite to their own imagination, the assault I say.

119 See how by means of imagination and lie and empty promises the enemies of our salvation make us fall. And from the heights Satan himself fell thus in ruins as a bolt of lightning [cf. Luke 10, 18], having imagined equality to God. And thus again he separated Adam from God, showing him an imagination of divine rank [cf. Gen. 3, 5]. And thus the liar and treacherous enemy is accustomed to deceive all those who sin [cf. 2 Cor. 11, 3].

120 We are embittered in heart by venom and thoughts (logismoi) of wickedness when, neglecting attention and the prayer (euche) of Jesus for much time on account of insensibility (lethe), we are led astray. We are sweetened again in perception (aisthesis) and in a certain sweetness of a blessed exultation when we accomplish the aforesaid things mightily and willingly in the workshop of our intellect (dianoia) harmoniously through divine Eros (eros). For then we are willing to walk in a stillness (hesychia) of the heart that has a certain Eros (eros) for the sake of nothing else except its own sweet pleasure and delight in the soul.

121 The art of villainous thoughts (logismoi) is the science of sciences and the art of arts. An excellent way and art of them is in the Lord to see the imagination of the assault and to guard the intellect (dianoia), just as we guard the sensible eye and with it keenly see him who by chance is coming to wound it and, with as much strength as we have, we prevent every dry stalk from it.

122 As snow will not give birth to flame or water bear fire or the box-thorn figs, thus the heart of every man will not be set free from demonic thoughts (logismoi) and words and works, not having purified what is within and not having united sobriety with the prayer (euche) of Jesus and not having achieved humility and stillness (hesychia) of soul and not being urgent with great willingness and not travelling. But it is a necessity to make the careless soul barren of every good and perfect mental representation as a barren mule, in which soul there is no understanding of spiritual prudence [cf. Ps. 31, 9]. Really, the peace of the soul is the sweet thing and name of Jesus and the emptying of impassioned mental representations.

123 When the soul evilly makes a concord with the body, then both build a city of vainglory and a tower of pride and those impious thoughts (logismoi) dwelling in them [cf. Gen. 11, 1–9]. Then the Lord by means of the fear of Gehenna confuses and divides their unison [ibid.], compelling the mistress soul to speak and to be minded of things foreign and contrary to the body, out of which occur fear and dissension, because ‘the mindedness of the flesh is enmity towards God and is not subject to the Law of God’ [cf. Rom. 8, 7].

124 It is obligatory that every hour we weigh and attend to the works (erga) of the day and it is necessary that in the evening we make them light with as much strength as we have through repentance, if, at any rate, we wish with the help of Christ to overcome the vice. And it is necessary to consider whether we accomplish all our sensible and visible works (erga) according to God, before God and only for God, so that we not be stolen irrationally by the senses.

125 For if with the help of God we gain the daily [profit] from our sobriety, we do not owe to conduct ourselves indifferently and to suffer loss through precarious encounters, but rather it is necessary to despise vain things on account of the lovely and sweet profit and beauty of virtue.

126 We owe to set the three parts of the soul in motion justly according to nature just as they were created by God.

And the temper (thumos), then, against our outer man and against the snake, Satan. He says: ‘Be angry against sin, that is, with yourselves and the Devil.’ He says: ‘Be angry so as not to sin to God.’ [Cf. Ps. 4, 5.]

It is necessary, moreover, to set the desiring part (epithumitikon) in motion towards God and virtue.

Let us appoint the rational part (logistikon), then, to set both of these in battle order with wisdom and science, to admonish them, to punish them and to rule them as a king rules slaves. And then the reason (logos) which is in us governs these according to God; and if the passions should rebel against the reason (logos), let us take a care that the reason (logos) command them. For the brother of the Lord says: ‘If one does not stumble in reason (logos), he is a perfect man, able to lead with a bridle the whole body…’ [Jas. 3, 2] and the following. For, to speak truly, every lawlessness and sin is accomplished through these three things, and every virtue and justice, again, is constituted through these three things.

previous | Table of Contents | next


Post a Comment

<< Home