October 22

For as long as you live do not abandon prayer even for a single day on the excuse of illness. Heed St Paul, who says, ‘When I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10). If you act in this spirit, your profit will be greater, and the prayer–grace assisting–will soon make you well. Wherever the Spirit brings solace, illness and listlessness are short-lived.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 21

To the person who hankers after material things and who steeps himself in sensual pleasure, the heavens are closed, since his spiritual eyes are shrouded; but he who scorns material things and who repudiates them exalts his intellect and perceives the glory of eternal realities and the luminosity of the saints.

Such a person is filled with divine love and becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit; he aspires to do God’s will and is guided by the Spirit of God, being granted divine sonship, blessed by God and conforming to Him. “For all who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 20

If you struggle to keep the commandments, persisting in the paradise of prayer and cleaving to God through continuous recollection of Him, then God will release you from the self-indulgent proclivities of the flesh, from all sensory impulsion and from all forms engraved upon your thought; and rendering you dead to the passions and to sin He will make you a participant in divine life.

A sleeping person looks like one dead so far as his bodily activity is concerned, and yet he is alive thanks to the cooperation of his soul. Similarly if you abide in the Spirit you are dead to the world and the flesh, but you live according to the spontaneity of the Spirit.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 19

If through sincere, continual prayer you stand aloof from desire for earthly things, if you repose not with sleep but through abandoning concern with everything except God, being steadfastly rooted solely in mindfulness of God, you will establish in yourself, like another helpmate, love for God.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 18

…when the intellect remains free from fantasy and image, not permitting itself to be shaped or stamped either by the taints of sensual pleasure or by thoughts full of desire, then it is in a state of simplicity; and transcending all sensory and intelligible realities, it concentrates its vision on God.

Its sole activity is to invoke the Lord’s name in the depth of itself with continuous recollectedness…so the intellect molded by the virtues and repeatedly invoking the Lord with a pure mind and an ardent spirit, is divinely transformed, quickened and deified through knowing and loving God.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 17

When the intellect turns away from external things and concentrates on what is within, it is restored to itself; it is united, that is to say, to the principle of its own consciousness, and through this principle naturally inherent in its own substance it devotes itself entirely to prayer.

By means of prayer it ascends with all its loving power and affection to the knowledge of God….it pursues the beauty of Christ, engaging in works of devotion…it cleaves to Christ with love…it continually contemplates Christ….discoursing with Christ in pure prayer it is filled with delight and joy…

For God welcomes the discourse born of prayer, and when He is lovingly invoked and called to our aid, He bestows inexpressible joy on the beseeching soul. For when the soul brings God to mind in the discourse of prayer, it is gladdened by the Lord…

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 16

Reject completely every suspicion about someone else that rises in your heart, because it destroys love and peace. But accept with courage any calamity that comes from without, since it provides an opportunity for exercising the patience that leads to salvation, the patience that bestows an abiding-place and repose in heaven.
                                                            ~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadephia

October 15

Do not neglect prostration. It provides an image of man’s fall into sin and expresses the confession of our sinfulness. Getting up, on the other hand, signifies repentance and the promise to lead a life of virtue. Let each prostration be accompanied by a noetic invocation of Christ, so that by falling before the Lord in soul and body you may gain the grace of the God of souls and bodies.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 14

When chanting psalms, do this in a low voice, with your intellect fully attentive: do not allow any phrase to go uncomprehended. Should anything escape your understanding, begin the verse again, and repeat this as many times as necessary, until your intellect grasps what is being said. For the intellect can attend to the chanting and simultaneously can recollect God. You may learn this from everyday experience: you can meet and speak with someone and also focus your eyes on him. Similarly, you can chant psalms and focus on God through recollectedness.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia

October 13

When you see yourself, therefore, growing sluggish in prayer, take up a book and by paying careful attention to what you read absorb its meaning. Do not read through the words in a cursory fashion, but examine them with depth of understanding and treasure their meaning. Then meditate on what you have read, so that your mind in comprehending it is mellowed and it remains unforgotten.

Thus will your ardor for reflection on things divine be kindled, for ‘a fire shall be kindled during my meditation’ (Psalm 39: 3 LXX). Just as you have to chew food before you can savor its taste, so you have to ruminate in your soul on holy texts before they enrich and gladden the mind: as the Psalmist says, ‘How sweet Thy words are in my throat’ (Psalm 119:103). Learn by heart the words of the Gospels and the sayings of the blessed fathers, and study their lives diligently, so that you may meditate on these things during the night. In this way when your mind grows listless in prayer you can refresh it by reading and meditating on sacred texts and rekindle its appetite for prayer.

~Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia