Evagrios the Solitary

Evagrios the Solitary, Blog 4, 153 Texts On Prayer

Evagrios compares the persistence of prayer to the seven years of labor by Jacob to gain the hand of Rachel, his gazelle, for Jacob so loved Rachel that the seven years he labored for her hand seemed to him to be but a day. On his wedding night Leah, her sister, was substituted for Rachel, and Jacob labored yet another seven years for the hand of Rachel. […]

Evagrios the Solitary

Evagrios the Solitary, Blog 2, Text on Discrimination of Passions and Thoughts

The demons tempt us through our passions, they tempt us through our perceptions, they tempt us through our memories of past pleasures that tempt us, through painful memories of those who have harmed us, and if this was true in the days of Evagrios, how much more true it is today when the media bombards us with images of pleasure and pain and cruelty.  Evagrios warns us, “all thoughts producing anger or desire in a way that is contrary to nature are caused by demons.”  If Evagrios could visit us today, what would he say about the wisdom of Christians attending church on Sundays and watching horror movies or violent movies on Friday nights?  Are we inviting demons into our souls to tempt us, to crowd us the compassionate thoughts in our soul?  We should guard ourselves against the demons of anger and rancor who seek for us to replay over and over in our mind the wrongs that others have done to us in the past. […]

Evagrios the Solitary

Evagrios the Solitary, Blog 1, Asceticism and Stillness

Evagrios begins by quoting Jeremiah, “You shall not take a wife in this place.”  The primary meaning of this verse is advice not to bear sons and daughters in time of war and troubles, but Evagrios interprets this allegorically, that we should not bear worldly thoughts and desires in our heart.  These worldly thoughts and desires are weak and sickly and lead to death, and “have no place in heavenly life.” […]