American Orthodox Catholic Christianity

Faith Of Our Fathers Series

The Holy Fathers on ... Guarding the Intellect

The beginning of evil is heedlessness.    - Abba Poemen

Spiritual reading, vigils and prayer bring the straying intellect to stability.  -Evagrios the Solitary

It is impossible for the soul to be liberated from turbulent thoughts without the virtue of non-possessiveness. And without peace of the bodily senses it is impossible for the soul to have a peaceful intellect. And if it does not come into temptations it will not acquire wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And without laborious and persistence in reading, it will not come to the discernment of thoughts. And without the stillness of thoughts, the intellect cannot move to seek the hidden mysteries of God.    - Saint Isaac the Syrian

The heart which is constantly guarded, and is not allowed to receive the forms, images and fantasies of the dark and evil spirits, is conditioned by nature to give birth from within itself to thoughts filled with light. For just as coal engenders a flame, or a flame lights a candle, so will God, who from our baptism dwells in our heart, kindle our mind to contemplation when He finds it free from the winds of evil and protected by the guarding of the intellect. - Saint Hesychios the Presbyter

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