We know that God is the beginning, middle and end of everything good; and it is impossible for us to have faith in anything good or to carry it into effect except in Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Everything good is given by the Lord providentially; and he who has faith that this is so will not lose what he has been given.

Steadfast faith is a strong tower; and for one who has faith Christ comes to be all.

May He who inaugurates every good thing inaugurate all that you undertake, so that it may be done with His blessing.

When reading the Holy Scriptures, he who is humble and engaged in spiritual work will apply everything to himself and not to someone else.

Call upon God to open the eyes of your heart, so that you may see the value of prayer and of spiritual reading when understood and applied.

[…] Do not attempt to explain something difficult with contentiousness, but in the way which the spiritual law enjoins: with patience, prayer and unwavering hope.

Blind is the man crying out and saying: ‘Son of David, have mercy on me’ (Luke 18:38). He prays with the body alone, and not yet with spiritual knowledge.

When the man once blind received his sight and saw the Lord, he acknowledged Him no longer as Son of David but as Son of God, and worshipped Him (cf John 9; 38).

[…] He who, like the blind man, casts away his garment and draws near to the Lord, becomes His disciple and a preacher of true doctrine (cf. Mark 10:50).

To brood on evil makes the heart brazen; but to destroy evil through self-restraint and hope breaks the heart.

There is a breaking of the heart which is gentle and makes it deeply penitent, and there is a breaking which is violent and harmful, shattering it completely.

Vigils, prayer and patient acceptance of what comes constitute a breaking that does not harm but benefits the heart, provided we do not destroy the balance between them through excess.

[…] A self-indulgent heart becomes a prison and chain for the soul when it leaves this life; whereas an assiduous heart is an open door.

‘The iron gate that leads into the city’ is a hard heart (Acts 12 : 10); but to one who suffers hardship and affliction the gate will open of its own accord, as it did to Peter.

Mark the Hermit (5th-6th c.): On The Spiritual Law, 2-21, 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). 

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