November 14

Unless a man hates all the activity of this world, he cannot worship God. What then is meant by the worship of God? It means that we have nothing extraneous in our intellect* when we are praying to Him: neither sensual pleasure as we bless Him, nor malice as we sing His praise, nor hatred as we exalt Him, nor jealousy to hinder us as we speak to Him and call Him to mind. For all these things are full of darkness; they are a wall imprisoning our wretched soul, and if the soul has them in itself it cannot worship God with purity. They obstruct its ascent and prevent it from meeting God; they hinder it from blessing Him inwardly and praying to Him with the sweetness of heart, and so receiving His illumination. As a result the intellect is always shrouded in darkness and cannot advance in holiness, because it does not make the effort to uproot these thoughts by means of spiritual knowledge*.

~St Isaiah The Solitary (Philokalia, vol. 1, p. 24-25.)


*Intellect-the nous, the highest faculty in man, the organ of contemplation, the innermost aspect of the heart, through which, when purified, man can know God by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Not to be confused with reason.


*Spiritual Knowledge-knowledge of the intellect, inspired by God, linked with contemplation and immediate spiritual perception.


To hate the world is to reclaim our mind, our heart, our soul and our strength for Christ. We become one-pointed, unified and healed of that which causes dissipation, and distracts us from our true calling to worship God. We should strive to worship God in purity, living virtuously and removing whatever obstructs and hinders us from worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

To this point also consider: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5: 23-24).

And, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

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