It is the task of unceasing watchfulness – and one of great benefit and help to the soul – to see the mental images of evil thoughts as soon as they are formed in the mind. The task of rebuttal is to counter and expose such thoughts when they attempt to infiltrate our mind in the form of an image of some material thing. What instantly extinguishes and destroys every demonic concept, thought, fantasy, illusion and idol is the invocation of the Lord. And in our mind we ourselves can observe how our great God, Jesus, triumphs over them all, and how He avenges us, poor, base and useless as we are.
St. Hesychios the Presbyter, on watchfulness and holiness, Philokalia
We have learned from experience that for one who wishes to purify his heart it is a truly great blessing constantly to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus Christ against his intelligible enemies.
Notice how what I speak of from experience concurs with the testimony of Scripture. It is written: ‘Prepare yourself, O Israel, to call upon the name of the Lord your God’ (cf. Amos 4:12. lxx);and the Apostle says: ‘Pray without ceasing’ ( 1 Thess. 5:17). Our Lord Himself says: ‘Without Me you can do nothing. If a man dwells in Me, and I in him, then he brings forth much fruit’; and again: ‘If a man does not dwell in Me, he is cast out as a branch’ (John 15:5–6). Prayer is a great blessing, and it embraces all blessings, for it purifies the heart, in which God is seen by the believer.
St. Hesychios the Presbyter, Philokalia, #173
The more the rain falls on the earth the softer it makes it;
similarly, Christ’s holy name gladdens theearth of our heart the
more we call upon it.
St Hesychius the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness, #41
The mystery of prayer is not consummated at a certain specific time or place. For if you restrict prayer to particular times or places, you will waste the rest of the time in vain pursuits. Prayer may be defined as the intellect’s unceasing intercourse with God. Its task is to engage the soul totally in things divine, its fulfillment – to adapt the words of St Paul (cf. 1 Cor. 6:17) – lies in so wedding the mind to God that it becomes one spirit with Him.
-St. Nikitas Stethatos, Philokalia
Who has greater repose and honor, the person who devotes himself to God and acts accordingly, or the person involved in hustle, law courts and worldly cares? The person who always converses with God through meditation on the Holy Scriptures and undistracted prayer and tears, or the person who is always on the go, who devotes himself to fraud and lawless actions which, when they come to nothing, leave him only with his exhaustion and perhaps twofold death? Consider how some of us endure even painful and dishonorable death all for nothing. Indeed, some for purely destructive ends have inflicted the greatest injury on their own souls. I have in mind robbers, pirates,
fornicators, instigators of quarrels – all of them people who refused salvation and the repose, honor and rewards that go with it. How blind we are! We endure death for the sake of destruction, but do not love life for the sake of salvation. And if we prefer death to the kingdom of heaven, in what do we differ from the thief or grave-robber or
soldier? These, simply for the sake of food, have often endured the death that is to come as well as death in this present life.
We must make Christ our primary goal; for on those who choose Him He confers the kingdom of heaven. This means that in this present life we must rise spiritually above all things, subjecting them all to Him. We must rule not only: over external things but also over the body, through our non-attachment to it, and over death, through the courage of our faith; then in the life to come we shall reign in our bodies eternally with Christ through the grace of the general resurrection. Death comes both to the righteous and to the sinner, but there is a great difference. As mortals both die, and there is nothing extraordinary in that But the one dies without reward and possibly condemned; the other is blessed in this world and in the next.
-St. Peter of Damascus
By its nature, water is soft while a stone is hard. However, when it runs along a
watercourse and drips on a stone, it slowly but surely makes a hole in it. Likewise, the word of God is soft while our hearts are tough. However, if a person frequently listens to the Word of God, his heart softens and becomes capable to accept the fear of God. St. Abba Pimen
If you approach any task and see there is an absence of God’s will, do not attempt it
under any circumstances. St. Anthony the Great