Evagrios the Solitary, also known as Evagrius of Pontus
Lived 346 – 399CE as an early ascetic pioneer
Texts on Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts
Now what am I to say about the demon who makes the soul dull-minded? For I am afraid to write about him: how, at his approach, the soul departs from its own proper state and strips itself of reverence and the fear of God, no longer regarding sin as sin, or wickedness as wickedness; it looks on judgment and the eternal punishment of hell as mere words; it laughs at the fire which causes the earth to tremble; and, while supposedly confessing God, it has no understanding of His commandments. You may beat your breast as such a soul draws near to sin, but it takes no notice. You recite from the Scripture, yet it is wholly indifferent and will not hear. You point out its shame and disgrace among men, and it ignores you, like a pig that closes its eyes and charges through a fence. This demon gets into the soul by way of long-continuing thoughts of self-esteem; and unless ‘those days are shortened, no flesh will be saved’ (Matt. 24:22).
This is one of those demons that seldom approach brethren living in a community. The reason is clear: when people round us fall into misfortune, or are afflicted by illness, or are suffering in prison, or meet sudden death, this demon is driven out; for the soul has only to experience even a little compunction or compassion and the callousness caused by the demon is dissolved. We solitaries lack these things, because we live in the wilderness and sickness is rare among us. It was to banish this demon especially that the Lord enjoined us in the Gospels to call on the sick and visit those in prison. For ‘I was sick,’ He says, ‘and you visited Me'(Matt. 25:36).
But you should know this: if an anchorite falls in with this demon, yet does not admit unchaste thoughts or leave his cell out of lack of motivation, this means he has received the patience and self-restraint that come from heaven, and is blessed with good judgement. Those, on the other hand, who profess to practice godliness, yet choose to have dealings with people of the world, should be on their guard against this demon. I feel ashamed to say or write more about him.
Italics show my alterings
Translation from the Philokalia
found at: Holybooks.com
Originally posted on Kingdom Pastor: Well, yesterday we looked the the foundation provide by Jesus that the very first believers embraced. But what good is a foundation unless something is built upon it. Right now I remembering from a previous appointment in a certain community, there was something I saw almost every day. It was…
I thoroughly recommend this post (and others) Pastor Randy has posted.
Well, yesterday we looked the the foundation provide by Jesus that the very first believers embraced. But what good is a foundation unless something is built upon it. Right now I remembering from a previous appointment in a certain community, there was something I saw almost every day. It was a foundation for a house. What I noticed was that it was overgrown with weeds even saplings were growing up. Someone had started to build a house but got only as far as the foundation.
I don’t know the story or the reason why–but this morning I see a spiritual truth in that image. A foundation becomes worthless unless something–something worthwhile–is built upon it. In looking at the book of Acts–Acts Of The Holy Spirit In Surrendered People–those surrendered people took that foundation and began building. What they built is a far cry from most “churches” today.
[This post is meant to be juxtaposed with today’s other post, “Leaders’ Quad-fecta”.]
1st Corinthians 16:16
Because of the relationship a Christian Leader has with God (Jesus & the Spirit are right-in-there as well) those who are Shepherded are to submit, be submissive, and follow what Leaders say. Continue reading “Obeying Leaders”
So many times gods are characterized living above this world, detached from it, yet controlling and manipulating people and events; inanimate objects — rocks, mountains, trees, earthquakes here and there; yeah, even the wind, rain, sun, lightning bolts; well, let’s throw in entire planets, gravity, the whole space-time continuum. After all, a god is a god and can do anything they well please to do. Can we, PLEASE, have the choice of a god who has a different mindset?
How about a Deity sitting back, assessing the condition of humanity and surmises, “Just as it is difficult to recapture water that is seeping into the ground, after it is poured from a cup: humanity is lost . . . and should be retrievable“.
Retrievable. Second chance. Relocating. New Life. A better way than what we, humanity, knew before.
“There is among the passions an anger of the intellect, and this anger is in accordance with nature. Without anger a man cannot attain purity: he has to feel angry with all that is sown in him by the enemy. When Job felt this anger he reviled his enemies, calling them ‘dishonorable men of no repute, lacking everything good, whom I would not consider fit to live with the dogs that guard my flocks’ (Job 30:1-4). He who wishes to acquire the anger that is in accordance with nature must uproot all self-will, until he establishes within himself the state natural to the intellect.”Continue reading “On Guarding the Intellect 1”
Jesus, at the close of ministry, chose to tell His Disciples to be “One”.
The Gospel of John chronicles this, starting with John 13:34, when telling the Disciples to love each other, and continuing to the end of Chapter 17. Jesus builds His case for Believers to be “One”. This is possibly the biggest care on Jesus’ mind and heart before his arrest.
In the prayer following teaching the Disciples to be “One”, He emphatically drove His point home (my own description), and petitioned God to undergird His followers to be “One”.
He could have stressed power or knowledge,
love or understanding,
but His chosen emphasis was unity:
That WE = ONE.
But do we give up our individual identities to the ideology of the community? Do you give up God’s essence within you when you come to the community? Do I? Continue reading “Christians as “One””