Results »

[Abba Isaac said:] The fourth kind, thanksgiving, is when the mind recollects what God has done or is doing, or looks forward to the good which he has prepared for those that love him, and so offers its gratitude in an indescribable transport of spirit. Sometimes it offers still deeper prayers of this sort; when […]

Advertisement

An old man said: “I never wanted a work to be useful to me while causing loss to my brother: for I have this hope, that what helps my brother will bring fruit to me.” ~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers 17.24 According to Abba Isaac, intercession is the third of four forms of prayer, […]

Abba Antony said: “Now I do not fear God, but I love him: for love casteth out fear” [cf. 1 John 4:18] ~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers 17.1 St. Antony’s saying, like much ancient Christian wisdom, is both simple and profound. He does not operate, like some do today, under a defeatist mentality when […]

Syncletice of holy memory said: “Men endure sore travail and conflict when they are first converted to the Lord, but later they have joy unspeakable. They are like men trying to light a fire, the smoke gets into their eyes, their eyes begin to drop tears—but they succeed in what they want. It is written: […]

[Abba Isaac said:] Whether the prayer is expressing repentance, or is pledging the heart in the confident trust of a pure conscience, or is expressing the intercessions which spring from a charitable heart, or is rendering thanks in the sight of the great and loving gifts of God—we have known prayers dart up like sparks […]

Series

This page is for easy access to multi-part series on Everyday Asceticism. Check in periodically as the list will be updated as new series and reflections in series develop. The Four Forms of Prayer Part 1: Introduction Part 2: Supplication Part 3: Vows Part 4: Intercession Part 5: Thanksgiving The Ladder of Humility Introduction: The […]

[Abba Arsenius] said: “If we seek God, he will appear to us: if we hold him, he will stay with us.” ~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers 11.1 Taking a short break from my series on the four forms of prayer, I wanted to reflect on this simple and striking saying of Abba Arsenius. It […]

On Blind Bodyguards

Abba Poemen said: “As a bodyguard is always standing by to protect the Emperor, so the soul ought ever to be ready for the demon of lust.” ~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers, 5.8 The fathers, even by many Christians today, are often derided for supposed sexual puritanism (no offense intended to any actual Puritans). […]

The Ladder of Humility: Step 7

The seventh degree of humility is, when one does not merely call oneself the least and most abject of all mankind, but believes it, with sincerity of heart: humbling oneself and saying with the prophet: “I am a worm and no man: a scorn of men, and the outcast of the people.” “I have been […]

The Ladder of Humility: Step 3

The third degree of humility is, when anyone submits himself with obedience to his superior for the sake of the love of God, after the example of the Lord, of whom the apostle says: “He was made obedient even unto death.” ~ Rule of St. Benedict, 7 Today is the 221st anniversary of the public […]