St Maximus the Confessor: Are You Paying All the Attention You Can to Your Soul?

Feast of St Sergios the Confessor

Maximus_Square_4.jpegIF ANYONE wishes his life and mind to be filled with the love of God and to be pleasing to Him, let him respect the better and more noble attributes of these three: the world, the Scriptures, and man as we know him. Let him pay all the attention he can to his soul, for it is immortal, and sacred, and virtues will make it divine; let him despise his flesh; it is bound to decay and die, and unless the soul’s honor is kept clean, the flesh can contaminate it. “For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth on many things” (Wisdom 9:15). “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” (Gal. 5:17). And “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Gal. 6:8). In the life of his spirit, let his thoughts stir his efforts toward incorporeal, intelligent powers, leaving the visible present things behind him; for it is written, “the things which are seen, are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18); God abides there among those powers, on account of the great depth and maturity of their peace. Let him raise himself prudently to the Holy Spirit, through thoughtful perusal of Holy Scripture, going beyond its literal sense; all good subsists in that Spirit, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Anyone found worthy of being let into these treasures, will discover God Himself engraved on the tablets of his heart by the grace in that Spirit; “with open face he will behold as in a glass the glory” of God (2 Cor.3:18), when he lifts the veil of the literal sense.

~St Maximus the Confessor, The Mystagogia


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