Philokalia Ministries

The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian - Homily Fifty-four Part II

March 28, 2019
We picked up this evening with homily 54. Isaac begins by discussing the impact of memories and recollections on both virtue and vice. Meditation upon virtue helps to transform the imagination. Likewise meditating upon the lives of the Saints and the vision of them that comes through contemplation sets one’s heart to pursue God with a greater zeal. 
We must be aware of the fact that both angels and demons can manifest themselves to us; either to draw us on onward in the pursuit of virtue or to lead us into error or fear. Thus, we must learn to discern what is appropriate to meditate upon. When love is rooted in God, the well-spring of living water is unfailing.  It for this reason that Isaac warns us not to become mechanical in our approach to prayer. We must trust in God’s providential love especially in the act of prayer - never calculating or controlling things.  A good sign of this is peace and freedom in mind and heart. Confusion and turmoil come from the evil one.

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