Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the
Questions of Their Disciples.
Disciple: What is the beginning of the spiritual
Master: You must apply your mind in meditating
on God's Words day and night and practice patience.
Disciple: What is the role of patience?
Master: Patience makes one desire more the Word
of God. So, patience and the Word of God build up the spiritual
Disciple: And, to do this effectively, we have
to leave the world behind?
Master: Without leaving the world, no one is
able to draw near to God.
Disciple: What do you mean by leaving the world?
Master: It simply means setting aside the affairs and
business that pertain to the body.
But what is wrong with the affairs and business that pertain to the
If you don't leave them behind, they will occupy your senses and the
mind and heart cannot stop imagining them, thus preventing the
entrance of holy thoughts about heaven.
It is the desert and solitude that quiets the senses and the mind of
Isaac of Nineveh, 660 A.D.