St Hesychios On Watchfulness and Holiness

We must be watchful. “Watchfulness is a continual fixing and halting of thought at the entrance to the heart. Guard your mind and you will not be harassed by temptations. But if you fail to guard your mind, accept patiently whatever trial comes. Watchfulness when practiced over a long period, completely frees us with God’s help from impassioned thoughts, impassioned words and evil actions. . . This enables us to fulfil every divine commandment in the Old and New Testaments and bestows every blessing of the age to come. It is purity of heart, a state blessed by Christ when He says” ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ Purity of heart is the ground for the vision of God.” […]

Early Church Writing

Life of St Anthony, Blog 2, Living a monastic life

St Anthony compares those who follow evil spirits to those who follow Christ.  Those who follow the evil spirits show “tumult and confusion of thought, defection, hatred towards them who live a life of discipline, indifference, grief, fear of death, and disregard virtue.”  But those who follow Christ have “joy unspeakable, cheerfulness, courage, renewed strength, calmness of thought, and boldness and love toward God.” […]

Early Church Writing

Life of St Anthony, Blog 1, Sell all you have and give to the poor

One day St Anthony went into church as this Gospel verse was being read:
Jesus said, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Anthony perceived that this verse was directed at him, so he IMMEDIATELY gave the family land, his inheritance, and his other possessions to the poor, leaving some money for his younger sister.

Anthony was able to do this because his parents had departed.  His younger sister was put in a convent to be raised, and we can surmise the convent was where she wanted to go, because if this was not the best place for her Anthony would have taken another path.  No degree on saintliness on his part would have been worth the price of her unhappiness and her soul.

Immediately is a word you see quite often in the first Gospel of Mark.  When should you repent and live a godly life?  When should you start caring for your neighbor?  When should you follow the way of the Lord?  IMMEDIATELY. […]