The intellect changes from one to another of three different noetic states: that according to nature, above nature, and contrary to nature.

When it enters the state according to nature, it finds that it is itself the cause of evil thoughts, and confesses its sins to God, clearly understanding the causes of the passions.

When it is in the state contrary to nature, it forgets God’s justice and fights with men, believing itself unjustly treated.

But when it is raised to the state above nature, it finds the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace and the other fruits of which the Apostle speaks (cf. Gal. 5:22).

And it knows that if it gives priority to bodily cares it cannot remain in this state.

[…] Each man’s knowledge is genuine to the extent that it is confirmed by gentleness, humility and love.

Everyone baptized in the orthodox manner has received mystically the fullness of grace.

But he becomes conscious of this grace only to the extent that he actively observes the commandments.

If we fulfil Christ’s commandments according to our conscience, we are spiritually refreshed to the extent that we suffer in our heart. But each thing comes to us at the right time.

Pray persistently about everything, and then you will never do anything without God’s help.

Nothing is stronger than prayer in its action, nothing more effective in winning God’s favour.

Prayer comprises the complete fulfillment of the commandments; for there is nothing higher than love for God.

Undistracted prayer is a sign of love for God; but careless or distracted prayer is a sign of love for pleasure.

He who can without strain keep vigil, be long-suffering, and pray, is manifestly a partaker of the Holy Spirit.

But he who feels strain while doing these things, yet willingly endures it, also quickly receives help.

One commandment is higher than another; consequently one level of faith is more firmly founded than another.

There is faith ‘that comes by hearing’ (Rom. 10:17) and there is faith that ‘is the substance of things hoped for’ (Heb. 11:1).

It is good to help enquirers with words; but it is better to co-operate with them through prayer and the practice of virtue.

For he who through these offers himself to God, helps his neighbour through helping himself.

If you want with a few words to benefit one who is eager to learn, speak to him about prayer, right faith, and the patient acceptance of what comes.

For all else that is good is found through these.

Mark the Hermit (5th-6th c.): On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works, 90-102, Text from G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware (trans. and eds.) The Philokalia: The Complete Text, vol. I (Faber & Faber, London & Boston: 1979), online version here.

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