October 9

To give free rein to the senses is to shackle the soul, to shackle the senses is to liberate it. When the sun sets, night comes; when Christ leaves the soul, the darkness of the passions envelops it and incorporeal predators tear it asunder. When the visible sun rises, animals retreat into their lairs; when Christ rises in the heaven of the praying mind, worldly preoccupations and proclivities abscond, and the intellect goes forth to its labors–that is, to meditate on the divine–until the evening (cf. Psalm 104:19-23). Not that the intellect limits its fulfillment of the spiritual law to any period of time or performs it according to some measure; on the contrary, it continues to fulfill it until it reaches the term of this present life and the soul departs from the body. That is what is meant in the Psalms when it is said, ‘How I have loved Thy law, O Lord; it is my meditation all the day long’ (Psalm 119:97)–where ‘day’ means the whole course of one’s present life.

Suspend then, your gossip with the outer world and fight against the thoughts within until you find the abode of pure prayer and Christ’s dwelling-place. Thus you will be illumined and mellowed by His knowledge and His presence, enabled to experience tribulation for His sake as joy and to shun worldly pleasure as you would bitter poison.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

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