July 23

‘Do not say in your heart, “Who shall ascend into heaven?” –that is, to bring Christ down –or, “Who shall descend into the depths?” –that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead’ (Romans 10:6-7). Interpreted in another way, the depths stand for all that is sequent to God, in the whole of which the whole divine Logos providentially comes to dwell, as life returning to what is dead. For all things whose life depends upon their participation in life are in themselves dead. And heaven stands for God’s natural hiddenness, whereby He is incomprehensible to all things. Alternatively, if anyone explains heaven as the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the depths as the mystery of the incarnation, he will not, I think, be far from the mark. For it is hard to grasp the meaning of either doctrine through the rational demonstration; or rather, their meaning is altogether inaccessible unless explored with faith…

When the Logos of God is raised up in us by our practice of the virtues and by contemplation, He draws all things to Himself (John 12:32); He sanctifies in virtue and spiritual knowledge our thoughts and words about the flesh, the soul and the nature of beings; He sanctifies also the very members of our bodies and our senses, and He places them all under His yoke. So let the visionary of divine things eagerly ascend in pursuit of the Logos until he reaches the place where He is. For, as Ecclesiastes puts it, He ‘draws to His place’ (Eccles. 1:5) all those who follow Him, and as the great High Priest He brings them into the Holy of Holies, where He Himself, who became as we are, has entered as a forerunner on our behalf (Hebrews 6:20).

                                                                            ~St Maximos the Confessor

The flesh revolts when prayer, frugality and blessed stillness are neglected.

Blessed stillness gives birth to blessed children: self-control, love and pure prayer.

                                                                             ~St Thalassios the Libyan

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