January 28

Thirdly, grief also arises from the shedding of possessions…this, we said, is to be conjoined with poverty of spirit, for it is only when all types of poverty are practiced together that they are perfected and pleasing to God….when a person bids farewell to all things, to both money and possessions, either casting them away or distributing them to the poor according to the commandment (cf. Luke 14:33), and weans his soul from anxiety about such things, he enables it to turn inwards to self-scrutiny, free now from all external attachments….

and whenever the intellect withdraws itself from all material things, emerges from the turbulence they generate, and becomes aware of our inner self, then first of all it sees the ugly mask it has wrought for itself…then the intellect withdraws untroubled into its true treasure-house and prays to the Father “in secret” (Matthew 6:6). And the Father bestows upon it peace of thoughts…then He makes it perfect in humility, which is the begetter and sustainer of every virtue…

The shedding of possessions gives birth to freedom from anxiety, this freedom to attentiveness and prayer, while attentiveness and prayer induce grief and tears. Grief and tears expunge passion-imbued predispositions. When these are expunged the path of virtue is made smooth, since the obstacles are removed, and the conscience is no longer full of reproach. As a consequence joy and the soul’s blessed laughter break through.

~St. Gregory Palamas (Philokalia vol.4, pp.314-315)

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