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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Selected quotes from St. Symeon the New Theologian

"The flame of a fire always reaches upwards, even if you turn the lighted stick upside down. And in the same way the heart of the proud man is incapable of humility. The more you give him suitable advice, the more he elevates himself. If you admonish or rebuke him he answers back aggressively, but if you praise or encourage him he is shamefully puffed up."
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"Argument is a fishing line baited with veracity (defense of truth, self-justification, self-defense) by which we are seduced into swallowing the hook of sin."

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"Keep your attention within yourself (not in your head but in your heart). Keep your mind there (in the heart), trying by every possible means to find the place where the heart is, in order that, having found it, your mind should constantly abide there. Wrestling thus, the mind will find the place of the heart. This happens when grace produces sweetness and warmth in prayer...with God's help, you will learn...from your own experience, by keeping your mind attentive and in your heart holding Jesus, that is, His prayer -Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me! One of the holy fathers says: 'Sit in your cell and this prayer will teach you everything.' "