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OS (Text) -- 30

The Lord said ‘Learn from me for I am meek and humble in heart and you will find repose for your souls.’ [Matt. 11, 29.]

191 The Lord said ‘Whoever will humble himself as this child shall be exalted; he, then, who exalts himself shall be humbled.’ [Cf. Matt. 18, 4; 23, 12.] He says: ‘Learn from me.’ [Matt. 11, 29.] Do you see that humility is instruction? For his commandment is eternal life [cf. John 12, 50]. This then is humility. He, therefore, who is not humble has slipped away from Life, and he will be found, manifestly, in the opposite.

192 For if every virtue is constructed by means of soul and body—both the soul and body are the creation of God, by means of which things, as I said, virtue is constituted—how are we not utterly mad boasting of alien adornments of both body and soul, showing vainglory, being supported upon pride as upon a rod of reed and rousing up against our heads God, who surpasses us with limitless size, on account of—the most terrible thing!—our great lawlessness and folly? For the Lord meets the proud in battle [Prov. 3, 34; Jas. 4, 6] and instead of imitating the Lord in humility, we make friends with the proud demon, enemy of the Lord, from a vainglorious and proud mindedness. On account of this, the Apostle used to say: ‘For what do you have that you did not receive? Perhaps you created yourself? If, then, you received from God body and soul, from which things and in which things and by means of which things every virtue is constituted, why do you boast as not having received?’ [Cf. 1 Cor. 4, 7.] For the Lord it is who granted you these things.

193 No other thing at all, then, constitutes purification of heart, through which both humility and every good are found in us descending from on high [cf. Jas. 1, 17], if it is not this: not to permit in any way at all the thoughts which arise to enter into the soul.

194 For the guard of the mind (nous), with the help of God and for God alone, remaining for much time in the soul provides prudence to the ruling part in the struggles according to God. This prudence, then, dispenses not a little ability to its participant in managing the works (erga) and the words in judgement acceptable according to the Lord.

195 The tokens of the priest in the Old [Testament] were foretypes of a pure heart, so that we also should attend to the plate of our heart [cf. Exod. 28, 32], lest it should have been blackened from sin, in order that with tears and repentance and prayer (proseuche) we wipe off the dirt. For the mind (nous) is an easy sort of thing and hard to restrain from the lawless remembrances, in a similar manner easily following out after evil imaginations and good, rational imaginations.

196 Blessed, really, is he who has glued the prayer (euche) of Jesus in the intellect (dianoia) and who calls him unceasingly in the heart, just as the air is joined to our bodies or as flame to wax. And the sun, on the one hand, passing through over the earth will make the day; the holy and venerable name of the Lord Jesus, on the other hand, shining in the intellect (dianoia) with continuity will engender numberless conceptions (ennoies) having the form of the sun.

197 And the clouds having been scattered, the air is shown to be pure. Having been scattered by the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, however, imaginations of the passions have the nature continually to give birth to radiant and starlike mental representations in the heart, the air of the heart being illumined by Jesus. For the Ecclesiast says: ‘Those who have trusted on the Lord will understand the truth and the faithful will cleave to him in love.’ [Wisd. 3, 9.]

198 One of the saints said: ‘Showing rancour, show it to the demons; and, having enmity, have it for the body continually.’ The flesh is a treacherous friend and being waited upon, wars the more strongly. And again: ‘Acquire enmity towards the body and [acquire] battle against the belly.’

199 In the previous words (logoi), those in the first [century] and [in the] second century, we collected the works of the sacred stillness (hesychia) of mind (nous), not the fruit of our intellect (dianoia) only, but those very things also that the divine words of the divinely wise Fathers teach us concerning purity of mind (nous). Now, then, saying a few things, as much as will show the profit of the guard of the mind (nous), we will cease from speaking.

200 Come, truly, then, and follow me towards the union of the blessed keeping of the mind (nous), whoever you may be, yearning in spirit to see good days [cf. Ps. 33, 13], and I will teach you in the Lord the labour and way of life of the mental powers (noeres dunameis), as is seen. For the angels will not be satiated hymning the Creator, neither the mind (nous) purely rivalling them. And just as the immaterial ones do not take care for food, thus neither do the material immaterial ones take care for it, if indeed they will enter into the Heaven of stillness (hesychia) of the mind (nous).

201 Just as the Higher Powers, therefore, do not take care for money or possessions, thus neither will those who cleansed the sight of the soul and who come into the habit of virtue take care concerning the ill-treatment of the wicked spirits. And as in those [i.e. the angels], the wealth of their progress in God is evident, thus in these [i.e. the Hesychasts], the evident Eros (eros) towards God and the earnest gaze and ascent of charity to the Divine.

Still, with Eros (eros) and insatiably extended in the ascent from the divine taste and intense yearning, then, they will not stop until they reach the Seraphim; neither will they grow weary of the sobriety of mind (nous) and the elevation with Eros (eros) until they should become angels in Christ Jesus our Lord.

202 There is no venom worse than the venom of the viper and basilisk, and there is no vice worse than the vice of self-love. The children of self-love you have flying, then, which are these: praises in the heart, being pleasing to oneself, gluttony, fornication, vainglory, envy, and the crown of all, pride, which knows how to pull down not only men but also angels from the Heavens and to clothe [them] with gloom instead of light [cf. 2 Pet. 2, 4; Jude 6].

203 These things [I have given] to you Theodoulos, [I] who bear the name of stillness (hesychia), even if in practice it is contradicted. But perhaps not completely, but what God has given, who in Father, Son and Holy Spirit is praised and glorified by every rational nature, angels and men, and all creation which the Unspeakable Trinity has created, the One God, the bright Kingdom of which may we also attain through the prayers of the most pure Theotokos and of our Holy Fathers, to which Unattainable God, eternal glory. Amen.—

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