August 9

Expunge from yourself the disgrace of negligence and the ignominy of disdaining God’s commandments. Dispel self-love and battle with your fallen self unsparingly. Seek out the judgments of the Lord and His testimonies. Scorn glory and dishonor. Hate the titillating appetites of the body….open your spiritual eye to the contemplation of God and recognize the delightfulness of the Lord from the beauty of creation.

And when you descend from these heights of contemplation, speak to your brethren about eternal life and the mysteries of God’s kingdom. This is the purpose of flight from men through the strictest asceticism, and the ultimate goal of the life of solitude.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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