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MONASTICISM



 

 

SLEEP

Sleep is a natural state. It is also an image of death and a respite of the senses. There are many sources of sleep; it can come from nature, from eating too much, from the demon or perhaps from prolonged fasting by which the flesh is weakened. 

Just as there can be overindulgence in drinking causing drunkenness, there can also be overindulgence in sleep. This must be avoided specially at the start of one's religious life. 

The bell for Matins is a spiritual trumpet that summons the brethren to begin their work of salvation. But it is also a summon for our invisible foes, the devils. Some stand by the bedside encouraging us to lie down again. Others make those at prayer fall asleep. Some cause stomachaches while others encourage us to prattle in the church. Some inspire bad thoughts, others get us to lean against the wall as if we are weary. Some cause us to yawn over and over again. While others cause us to laugh during prayers so as to provoke the anger of God against us. 


 

 

( 05-016-02)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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