Ample room in the heart denotes hope in God; congestion denotes bodily care.

The grace of the Spirit is one and unchanging, but energizes in each one of us as He wills (cf. 1 Cor 12:11).

When rain falls upon the earth, it gives life to the quality inherent in each plant: sweetness in the sweet, astringency in the astringent.

Similarly, when grace falls upon the hearts of the faithful, it gives to each the energies appropriate to the different virtues without itself changing.

To him who hungers after Christ grace is food; to him who is thirsty, a reviving drink; to him who is cold, a garment; to him who is weary, rest; to him who prays, assurance; to him who mourns, consolation.

When you hear Scripture saying of the Holy Spirit that He ‘rested upon each’ of the

Apostles (Acts 2:3), or ‘came upon’ the Prophet (1 Sam 11:6), or ‘energizes’ (1 Cor 12:11), or is ‘grieved’ (Eph 4:30), or is ‘quenched’ (1 Thess 5:19), or is ‘vexed’ (Is 63:10), and again, that some ‘have the first fruits’ (Rom 8:23), and that others are ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:4), do not suppose that the Spirit is subject to somekind of division, variation or change; but be sure that…He is unvarying, unchanging and all-powerful.

Therefore in all His energies He remains what He is, and in a divine manner He gives to each person what is needful.

On those who have been baptized He pours Himself out in His fullness like the sun.

Each of us is illumined by Him to the extent to which we hate the passions that darken us and get rid of them.

But in so far as we have a love for them and dwell on them, we remain in darkness.

He who hates the passions gets rid of their causes. But he who is attracted by their causes is attacked by the passions even though he does not wish it.

When evil thoughts become active within us, we should blame ourselves and not ancestral sin.

The roots of evil thoughts are the obvious vices, which we keep trying to justify in our words and actions.

We cannot entertain a passion in our mind unless we have a love for its causes.

For what man, who cares nothing about being put to shame, entertains thoughts of self-esteem? Or who welcomes contempt and yet is disturbed by dishonor?

And who has ‘a broken and a contrite heart’ (Ps 51:17) and yet indulges in carnal pleasure?

Or who puts his trust in Christ and yet worries or quarrels about transitory things?

Mark the Hermit (5th-6th c.): On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works,114-123, 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.

Advertisements