December 18

Those who indulge their passions, being materially-minded, are distracted during prayer by their thoughts as by frogs. Those who restrain their passions are gladdened during prayer by the changing forms of contemplation, which are like nightingales moving from one branch to another. But in the dispassionate there is silence and great quiescence of both thought and intellection during prayer.

A flame gives light so long as it is wedded to matter. But the soul becomes God’s shrine only when free from matter. The flame rises up so long as it has something to burn on; the soul is raised upward until it is consummated in divine love.

~Ilias the Presbyter

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