Category: General


Combatting Forgetfulness

An old man said: “Satan has three powers, which lead to all the sins. The first is forgetfulness, the second negligence, and the third concupiscence. If forgetfulness comes, it begets negligence: negligence is the mother of concupiscence: and by concupiscence a man falls. If the mind is serious, it repels forgetfulness, negligence does not come, concupiscence finds no entry— and so with help from Christ’s grace, he shall never fall.”

~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers, 11.46

There are many sayings like these in the ascetic writings of the Church. One could list basic causes of all sin ad infinitum. The important thing to remember is that these sayings arise not (merely, I should say) from abstract theorizing but from practical experience. Thus, this is what this old man has found. As the matter at hand is a practical one, arguments are not necessary, only self-examination. Is his experience, your experience? If so, then his solution might be your solution as well. Continue reading

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‘Western Asceticism’ on Archive.org

I don’t usually write purely informational posts, but I thought this little factoid I somehow only now discovered would be worth sharing: Western Asceticism, the volume from which I always quote the Sayings of the Desert Fathers as well as a few of the Conferences of Cassian, and which also includes the Rule of St. Benedict, is completely and totally free on archive.org. You can download it in all sorts of formats, including a clean and searchable pdf of the text. Pretty cool!

You can find Western Asceticism on archive.org here.