Friday, August 15, 2014

From the Philokalia on FASTING and SPEECH

dscf4933a.jpgSome are most careful about the food they take in but negligent about the words they give out. To adapt Ecclesiastes (11:10), such men do not know how to remove anger from the heart or desire from the flesh. Only through the removal of these things is a pure heart established within us by the renewing Spirit.

You can achieve frugality by lowering the quantity of your food, and sinlessness in speech by raising the quality of your silence.

The ascetic must know when and by means of what food to treat the body as an enemy, when to encourage it as a friend, and when to succour it as an invalid. Otherwise he may unwittingly offer to the friend what is proper for the enemy, or to the enemy what is proper for the friend, and to the invalid what is proper for either of the other two, and having alienated all three he may find them fighting against him in time of temptation.

If, when eating, the nourishment in your food is more important to you than its savour, then the grace of tears will be given to you and you will begin to find spiritual refreshment; and you will forget all other taste, relishing its sweetness beyond that of anything else.
Ilias the Priest (? 6-7th century)


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