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MONASTICISM



 

 

ON ALERTNESS

Alertness keeps the mind clean. Laziness binds the soul. The alert soul fights against fornication; the sleepy soul goes to live with it. Alertness quenches the vices; laziness fertilizes the vices. 

The vigilant soul is a fisher of good and noble thoughts; and in the silence of the night he can easily observe and catch them.

The bell rings for prayer. The soul who loves God says, "Bravo." The lazy soul says, "Oh no, not again."

The bell for prayer excites the lovers of God, the bell for meals excites the glutton. 

Long sleep produces forgetfulness; but keeping vigils clears the memory.

The lazy soul is wide awake when talking to his friends but half asleep when talking to God. When idle talk begins, he is awake; when Sacred reading begins, he falls asleep. 

Community prayer is imposed so that the lazy soul, out of shame, may stay awake. He who dozes off in spite of the community is utterly shameless. 

Just as the merchant counts his profits at the end of the day, the Christian soul must count his profits after his prayers. Note how, after prayers, all the demons attack to take away the seeds of prayer implanted in your soul. 

St. John Climacus


 

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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