Cowardliness In The Spiritual Life

St. Isaac the Syrian says that there are several ways the devil attacks a person.  The goal of these attacks is to make us pull back from our pursuit of godliness.  Transformation into the image of Christ is a synergistic experience.  We labour together with Christ.  On the other hand, it is also all Grace.  There is no love, joy, peace or patience (or any other of the fruit of the Spirit) without…

Tactics In The Spiritual Warfare

For when the causes of [temptation] are distant from [a person], he is not endangered by the twofold warfare, that is, the one which is both inward and outward.  See how much easier is the struggle when [a person] desires things that are afar off than when the very things themselves are close at hand and by their sight inflame the thoughts; for the struggle in the latter case is twofold.  …

Closing The Door To Tormenting Demons

“Beware of idleness,” St. Isaac the Syrian warns the hermits, for “without it a monk cannot fall into the hands of those who strive to enslave him.” St. Isaac warns hermits not to neglect psalmody nor prayer because in abandoning them, the solitary opens a door to the demons. The judgement of God comes upon us not because we have neglected spiritual discipline, as though God punishes us for legal omissions, failing…

Love and Fear and Love

“For even true and genuine sons, ten parts of love should be mixed with five parts of fear.”   St. Isaac the Syrian The world is an unequal place. Some are born, as they say, with a silver spoon in their mouths; some are born into a world of need and instability. Some are born slaves, St. Isaac says, and some are born free; some are born into circumstances conducive to the…