Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the
Questions of Their Disciples.
Disciple: Are we to work, pray and fast
Master: No. Work and fasting, aimed
at healing the lustful part of the soul, cannot be done unceasingly
because the body needs rest and sleep to survive. Prayer,
however, must in fact be unceasingly because it aims at the mind
that needs no food, sleep or rest. The mind can pray needing
no help from the body; in effect, the mind can pray even if the body
is asleep. The unceasing prayer of the mind is what protects
the soul from the attacks of the devil.
do the saints work to attain passionlessness?
Because passionlessness is the sign of a healthy soul;
it makes us like unto the angels with knowledge as its
we know if we have reached passionlessness?
by analyzing our thoughts during the daytime and our dreams during
there a fake state of passionlessness?
when the demons withdraw from their attacks, one feels a peaceable
state of soul that seems like passionlessness.
How can one know that this is a fake state of passionlessness?
it is followed by vainglory and pride that take possession of the
How can we know that we have the true state of passionlessness?
This state is accompanied by humility with contrition of heart,
tears and a measureless desire for the Divine. He who protects
this state can more easily discern the attacks and wile of the