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HOMILIES ST ISAAC FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY   2/12/2020 12:00 πμ
-FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY.




7:1The noetic renewal of the saints is the crown of the intellect and the understanding which have communion with God through the revelation of His glorious mysteries, but the universal renewal is the general resurrection of all.



7:2When mothers completely cease from bearing children, 'The last enemy shall be destroyed, which is death' (1 Corinthians 15:26), and straightway the beauty of the resurrection will radiantly shine forth. The sign of the Lord's Cross will be seen (Cf.

Matthew 24:30), Christ will shine resplendently in the great glory of His angels (Cf. Matthew 16:27), the veil of delusion will be stripped off from all, and the resurrection will reign, as it is written. At a signal all created things will be changed (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:52) and will receive renewal.

7:3Suddenly justice conjoined with mercy will be revealed. Transgressors and demons will be clothed with shame, darkness, and remorse. The garment of their deeds will come forth from within them; but the righteous will be arrayed in their own raiment of glory. Grace will be poured forth, the firmament will shine brilliantly, and angels, men, and demons will stand in profound awe. The righteous will be raised up on wings of light to meet our Lord (Cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:17). The Bridegroom will enter into the spiritual bridal chamber (Cf. Matthew 25:10), making ready for His guests. And with Him will enter in the sons of light, the invited guests, those who by the faithfulness of their works awaited the marriage feast. Then immediately the door of the bridal chamber will be shut (Cf. Ibid) and the evil will remain below in the lot which they have purchased by their fraudulent deeds.

7:4Great consternation at their own state will suddenly fall upon those who remain




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below, when they see the righteous being raised up in light to meet our Lord, and that from within themselves a roaring flame of darkness, torment, and mournful regret issues forth, consuming their lives. Thus will they be punished by the justice of God's mercy, and the whole of their existence yonder will be lamentation and gnashing of teeth.




7:5Then the Son of God, Christ, to Whom all things are submitted, will bring forth the crown of victory in praise of Him Who submitted all things to Him, and God will be all in all, as it is written (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23).

7:6The heavenly Bridegroom will recline at the head of His invited guests, crowning them with twofold glory. He will cause His guests to recline, they being adorned forever with the glory of their disciplines, and will pour forth on them the gift of His grace. He will crown them with a crown of light and the effulgence of His divinity. He will cover them with the glory of His eternal Kingdom and illumine them with light as they rejoice in the joy of being with Christ in unending happiness and delight.

7:7Awestruck wonder will fall upon all nature at the great change which, in the twinkling of an eye, will come to pass. The nature of men will receive perfect, undeficient, unwaning renewal. By the general resurrection they will be awakened as though from sleep, the righteous shining like the sun (Cf. Matthew 13:43), the moon, and noetic stars.

7:8As here there is no knowledge of the new world or language [that can speak of it], so yonder the language of this world will be no more, but stillness and deep silence will reign over all in awe and ineffable glory. For those who have awaited the Bridegroom Christ throughout all generations will be inebriated by His love.

7:11The act of God's giving men the gift of eternal life will be continuous. If His gift were held back, the everlastingness of their lives would cease. Therefore His gift will not be withdrawn, and their life will not diminish, since they will not be ones who labor, but ones who are spiritual.

7:13Let us not run after many diverse things whose mystical meaning is hidden and concealed, and let us not slip away from the truth, but let our Faith suffice for the truth. The true knowledge concerning the mystery of the Holy Trinity is known in beginninglessness, begottenness, and procession. The Trinity becomes plain to the naked intellect when in word and spirit we become fully convinced of (or we affirm) the paltriness and feebleness of our nature. As long as we accept the truths of the holy Church about that which has no likeness, then, being gloriously raised on high, we shall attain to true knowledge of the reality (Literally; the prototype).

7:14Likewise, the glorious mysteries of the spiritual world cannot be expressed by the tongue's fabrications, and they cannot be depicted in a carnal intellect. It is impossible




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for a representation of the simple Spirit to be revealed to an intellect which has become complex through complex methods.

7:15Only through the light of faith can the soul receive what knowledge about these mysteries she has received from the holy Scriptures. For not even the Scriptures are able to transmit to us knowledge that we do not accept concerning these mysteries; and without [the light of faith] they will remain alien to our knowledge.

7:16By taking material from precious things which we esteem to be glorious and desirable, the Scriptures stimulate our childish disposition. And by taking material from things which alarm and terrify us, the Scriptures terrify the grossness of our thinking.

7:17When the noetic sun of meekness and humility dawns in the heart and the darkness of the delusion of conceit is dispelled, the soul will never again be in need of the methods of knowledge so as to seek out the truth by their intermediary.

7:18The silence of the intellect emanates from the operation of grace. This does not greatly differ from the sweetness of sleep, when the soul is not deprived of consciousness




that operates unconsciously (or, more literally; of knowledge that operates unknowingly). 7:20O man, you who are diligent to preserve the peace of your heart, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of the good and evil of those who journey with you. Do not investigate the inner nature of their deeds, and you will not lose your heart's peace. But if you begin to scrutinize the deeds of your neighbor, do not murmur when you find yourself agitated.

7:23If a monk desires to see our Lord within himself through the Spirit, as He promised in His Gospel (Vide John 14:17-20), but his will inclines to accept in place of this vision the spectacle, the depiction, and the figment of phantasy, he will not be deemed worthy of entering the spiritual bridal chamber which is within.

7:27Each day a monk is like a man who gives food and drink to his body and cares for his health. For he goes into his inner man, gives it to drink and cares for its health.



Through continual prayers he presents it to Jesus, the Physician of our souls. And every night before sleeping he brings it into the tribunal, reckons up its account, repays what it owed, and asks for mercy and repentance.

7:30The monk who is rich in prayer is rich in boldness before God. The more frequent and assiduous the labors of prayer, the more grace is poured out and the mind becomes luminous.

7:33The mind is transformed and renewed during prayer by mourning or by joy. Prayers and sighs well up in accord with discipline, reading, the revolving of thoughts, rumination, and occurrences.




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7:36If a ship, though it be laden with gold and precious stones, loses its way in the abyss of the great and spacious sea, and has no hope of attaining a calm harbor, it will bring no profit. Likewise, if a soul, though laden with education, knowledge, keen wits, profound opinions, and fountains of insight, should have no hope of attaining purity, limpidity, gentleness, peace, goodness, and gladness, she will have no profit.

7:37A man will never receive the revelation of the truth and taste the sweetness of God from the instruction of words, spoken or written, unless his spirit partakes of the Spirit of Jesus and, through the Spirit's operation, his soul acquires His meekness, humility, forbearance of the infirmities of others, and overcomes evil with good.

7:38When the well-spring of the heart is cleansed of the filth of the passions, and when peace and light reign, the heart does not growl at the recollection of the failings of persons afar off, nor does it become excited by wrath and zeal during encounters with sinners. Rather, in both recollection and encounters with good and evil men, a man's mind is gentle and kind, and he is filled with love, much tranquility and graciousness, like Jesus the Saviour of all, Who did not grow weary of our failings, nor turn away in disgust from our running sores.

7:39When by grace the intellect is deemed worthy to graze in the meadow of the Scriptures, created beings, God's tender care, the wisdom of His creation, and the many acts of His providence, then it is so swallowed up by the sweetness of these things that it does not perceive either the good or evil lives of a man's companions on his journey.

7:40When the intellect is accounted worthy to enter the plain of limpid purity, it grazes in those lands of peace, where there are no cliffs or high places, because envy, wrath, willfulness, malice, and hypocrisy have been utterly cast down. If we encounter incidents, the intellect accepts them as rightfully belonging to it without being disturbed by them (Literally; without undergoing examination by them).




7:42If you have found the truth within yourself, do not allow yourself to be disturbed by the great diversity of methods employed for virtue. When the air of the firmament of a man's heart is radiant, tranquil, and still, he will know how he has passed from death into life.

7:44The monk whose recollection is immersed in Christ, whose mind is immersed in light, truth, and life, will not see anything else.

7:46O man who takes pains to calm the motions of your soul and to cleanse the mirror of your heart from the dust of the passions: while you concern yourself with your interior affairs, also block up the windows of your external senses which import filth and make turbid your soul's limpid purity.

7:49As long as the winnowing-fan of the tongue has power over your heart's treasures,




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such that it can embarrass you and put your soul to shame, keep your spiritual riches gathered up within yourself.

7:54When at first a seed of the passions or the virtues falls into the field of the heart, it is much smaller and meaner than a seed which falls into a field of earth. It dies and perishes, or grows, becomes strong, and produces fruit in accord with the farmer who tends it, either causing it to grow or to wither.



7:58Woe to the man who is not fervent in his discipline, as were the blessed apostles, whom men reviled in that they were accounted worthy of the new wine and became drunk (Vide Acts 2:13). But blessed and twice blessed is the man who after the first fervor is accounted worthy of a second fervor, who receives peace and tranquility, and who produces the fruits enumerated by the blessed Paul!, (Vide Galatians 5:22).

7:59Just as it is useless for a man to be rich in bodily labors when his mind is blind to any comprehension of the word of light (i.e. Scripture), so, in the same manner, a man will never prosper whose mind hovers around the thoughts of the intellect's phantasy and incorporeal ideas (or illusions, imaginations) and who is devoid of the works of repentance. Therefore our Lord commanded equally to 'Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's' (Matthew 22:21).

7:60O discerning monk, who captures the words of prayer and sets them free again to fly into the air, gaze within yourself, and with insight comprehend the sayings [of Scripture] composed by the Spirit. Marvel at the strength of their interior composition and not at the sweetness of your melodies.

7:61O monk, who fashions the words of prayer from wandering thoughts concerning the natures and things of creation, collect your thought from its wandering by reading and progress in spiritual matters. Inscribe the words of your prayer in the book of your heart where Christ, the true Light, dwells.

7:64The monk who gazes into his heart and imprints the words of his prayer upon its tablet will be freed from distraction and accounted worthy of the illumination of the mind and awesome vision.

7:65By rubbing wood against wood fire is kindled, and by the prayerful words of rumination within the heart the fire of love is ignited. Through ardent yearning for Christ it bursts into flame.

7:66 It is easier to quell the wild desire of fornication than it is to quell the blazing fire of desire for divine things. A man is reviled and does not know it, glorified and does not perceive it, hungers and thirsts and thinks nothing of it.

7:67 When we are found in the region of limpid purity, the passions do not dare to




assail




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us by force, nor even to employ their devices, unless we voluntarily consent with them. In just the same way, when we are found in the region of the passions, it is not right to attempt by force to enter the region of limpid purity unless we have thrust away from ourselves the pleasure of the passions and have applied ourselves to tearful prayer.

7:73O man whose conscience is polluted and wavering, and yet you are filled with zeal and demand that justice be exacted from others: when your brethren seem to you to be doing wrong, do not immediately become upset and disturbed, do not castigate them because of your foolish zeal. Rather, look within yourself and understand that the mirror of your conscience is befouled with the unseemly filth of envy and malice, and that your intellect has begun to see pure things as unclean. Understand that the bad things which you see in others are a shadow of the impure images that are imprinted inwardly on the mirror of your heart, and they become outwardly manifest as imposed on the good actions of your brethren. Thus pure things seem to you to be impure. Do not find fault with exterior things, but interior, that is, with your unstable and polluted conscience.

7:74It often occurs that due to conceit, or from hearsay, and so on, a man becomes inflamed with a godly zeal, yet 'not according to knowledge', as the blessed Paul wrote (Romans 10:2); thus he falls into trials. If a man cannot see his neighbor as he is except by his neighbor's own hidden eye, which thing is impossible to do, then it is evident that every man sees his neighbor as he is himself and not as his neighbor really is. When you see the failings of others, enter within yourself and trace out your own failings.

Understand with discretion that if the cause is not this, but due to something else, you will never be liberated and find peace. When certain men see likenesses of flies before their eyes, physicians do not consider the eyes to be unhealthy, but rather the stomach, which lies within. Therefore by a purging draught given interiorly they heal the eyes, and not by drugs applied exteriorly.



7:75When by a gift of God's mercy the disciplines and actions of all men seem to you to be equally good and beautiful, understand that through grace the mirror of your conscience is limpid and pure of the passions of wickedness (or malice), and that this is not a virtue of your own, but comes from divine help. Give glory to God that your soul has begun to yield the fruits of the Spirit. A man, the eye of whose conscience is pure, does not see the evil of his neighbor. A man, the eye of whose heart is impure, does not see the good of his neighbor; rather his mind is continually agitated, distressed, and growls at whatever it sees, hears, or remembers. Such is the life of the belabored soul who esteems his own opinions, who scorns, disdains, and holds in contempt his weaker neighbor. He demands that justice be exacted from others and does not wish to pass over into the sublime




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life of grace, the same to which he has called himself from the time he abandoned the world and cleaved to Christ in faith, hope, and love, through free repentance and not with the justice of the Law (Cf. Matthew 6:21).

7:78Just as figures and colors adorn paintings and depictions, so the counsels of elders and the initiates of the truth adorn rational beings and turn them toward excellent ways, customs, and practices. The soul is adorned by continual prayers, reflection on things divine, reading the Scriptures, and watchfulness. The man who inquires into, investigates,




and learns many things, but does and practices only those things which he knows and finds pleasure in, resembles the unclean demons. As sunlight is of no use to a blind man, so the advice, instruction, and knowledge of the elders is of no use to a soul that is bereft of the works of a stable discipline and is blinded by the passions.

7:80O man who has become God's dwelling-place through steadfast ascetical practices, do not rely on yourself, and do not undervalue the works of your discipline! Do not despise, either inwardly or outwardly, the man whose heart is crushed by his own failings and suffers from diverse feverish passions. But fear passions and your own failings until you reach the harbor of the tomb, for you do not know when you will slip into the very same failings as those for which you despised others, or if grace will abandon you and you will fall like lightning (Cf. Luke 10:18) from the lofty summit of your discipline, though you were a director for many.

7:81Our Lord has laid up great blessedness for the man who comforts someone whose heart is broken by asceticism, who is voluntarily impoverished, and who despises himself. But blessedness upon blessedness is reserved for the man who experiences profound co-suffering with someone brought low by pains, illnesses, and other personal sorrows, and who co-suffers with one who leads a toilsome, unprosperous life, who is scorned, despised, and repudiated, whose heart is crushed in the presence of his comrades, and who is put to shame by others and by himself as well. 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy', our Lord said (Matthew 5:7). But woe to the man who stabs the ulcers within the hearts of feeble men and mocks them! He resembles the thief on the [Lord's] left who mocked (Vide Luke 23:39).

7:82The monk who strives and labors to heal over the open wounds of his soul, but judges and condemns as slothful and lazy those who are crushed and ill with passions, will never see the luminous star which dawns in the hearts of those who know the truth. A monk who acknowledges his own failings, and with love and pity caresses and consoles his smaller and weaker brethren, will be deemed worthy by Christ the Lord to be a temple for the radiance which proceeds from the Father. Amen, so be it! It is written that the consolation of a fool is bruises and wounds for other men, but the crown of a wise man is the triumph of his neighbor.






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7:84The prayer of the sinner, whose heart is broken and humbled by remorse at the memory of his faults and failings, is better than the prayer of a boasting righteous man who is puffed up by conceit, who rides the horse of pride, and who conducts himself haughtily because he [seems to] stand firmly on the spiritual level. When a sinner becomes aware of his failings and begins to repent, he is righteous. When a righteous man becomes aware of his righteousness and his conscience is persuaded of it, he is a sinner.

7:87The boastful righteous man who is wise in his own eyes is like the bitter and briny sea, whose waves are lifted high, but whose mariners perish from thirst.

7:88The righteous man who with senseless deeds makes a feeble beginning, who then becomes filled with repulsion, who becomes acrid and austere, and who voluntarily swallows the hardships and severities of poverty, who suffers and is oppressed, who is tried by scorching heat and bitter cold, who is tormented by temptations of every sort, will in the end be filled with sweetness through his forbearance and the peace he receives from on high. He will become initiated into the sweetness of the knowledge of the truth. But scarcely will a man be found who is released from the struggle until his last day.




Thus, as it is said in Scripture, the fruit of a man's spiritual knowledge will be sweet for eating, but the leaves of his asceticism required for healing will be repugnant (Cf.

Genesis 3:6).

7:92Shallow knowledge, which consists of acute thoughts and intellections, which is yoked to the passions and far removed from the steady practices and labors of repentance and asceticism (which things break, torment, and humble the heart and, by their vehemence, cause a man to search into the words of Scripture and to meditate upon the mercies of God and the glorious mysteries of the new world) has slain many and begotten many sons for Gehenna.

7:93A truly righteous man, who perceives the tender care shown by God's mercies toward all, and the renewal which our nature will receive at the end, pours forth his mercy especially upon sinful and feeble men so as to bring them to repentance. He understands from his own experience that although all the members of his body are in need of care, still he must give special attention to a member that is ill or in pain or broken. He must bandage it, apply remedies, and care for its healing even if it is one of the body's less honorable members (Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:23). Now the Head of the entire body of the holy Church is Jesus Christ (Cf. Colossians 1:18), and each one of us is a member of Christ (Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:27) in the body of the Church, whether he is good or bad.

7:94 At the beginning of his prayer a righteous man magnifies and gives glory to God, but he denounces himself. He begins his words by praying for the peace of the world and the kings and rulers. At the beginning of his entreaty he supplicates for the tranquility of




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the Church, Her children, and Her leaders. At the beginning of his supplication he begs for sinners, the fallen, and the feeble. And when he begins to weep and to groan, he makes entreaty for those who repent, who suffer oppression, the afflicted, the buffeted, and the distressed. Thereafter, taking refuge in their prayers, he proceeds to ask compassion, mercy, and forgiveness for himself.

7:95A man who truly repents, who has been baptized in water and the Spirit (Cf. John 3:5), who has been absolved of his sins through grace, cannot be persuaded to be negligent. Rather, he strives and labors at repentance by keeping the commandments, so that he can also be cleansed of the passions, actively receive renewal in his mind, secretly perceive the earnest of the Spirit (Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22) which he received from holy baptism, and mystically delight within himself with joy and spiritual consolation.

7:96When truthful men fervently and undoubtingly embrace simple faith in Christ and they hear the promises of the Spirit that 'in My name shall those who believe in Me cast out demons, they shall take up serpents, and they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover' (Cf. Mark 16:17-18), and so on, they easily accomplish with their own hands signs and miracles through the simplicity of their faith. But faith that comes through the divine vision of knowledge searches out and explores the mysteries of the Faith. Now either faith is impeded, when conceit intervenes, and it hesitates at the fork in the road, or, because of painstaking labors, a steady discipline, and mournful tears, it is helped by grace: then [in a second case] it discovers the light of the true knowledge of the new, noetic world. Faith is the eye of the soul, hope is her vision, and love is living, noetic light. The soul cannot be filled with joy and secret consolation except by the operation of grace.

7:97So long as honor and dishonor, loss and profit, good things and evil come upon us




through the senses and trouble us, our soul suffers loss and she has need of labor, training, ascetical discipline, stillness, and the absence of all intercourse. In short, until there is uprooted from our heart the school which cultivates the knowledge of the good and evil of our neighbor, that such a one is good and such a one is bad, that this man is righteous and that man is a sinner, and so forth, and until there is rooted within us the school of grace, which cultivates love, mercifulness, forgiveness of senseless deeds, of sinners, and of the feeble, and we indiscriminately pour forth grace upon good and evil men equally (in the likeness of Jesus, the Saviour of all): until such a time we should not expect the fruits of the Spirit, enumerated by the blessed Paul (Vide Galatians 5:22) to flourish within us.

7:98Every man who toils within himself and receives in himself material from the Scriptures and from nature, and so on, adorns himself and satisfies his hunger. A youth, however, receives material from the Scriptures and from created natures, and then runs to




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satisfy the hunger of many others, so perishing from hunger himself. I earnestly beseech you to forgive me this very folly. Let all who read or hear [this book] say with groans, 'O God, have pity on this sinner!'

7:100 For us and for spiritual beings our Lord has reserved perfection free of aberration as the manner of life of the new world. Here, however, according to the word of the divine Paul, 'God hath enclosed all in aberration that yonder all might be in need of mercy', both the righteous and sinners (Cf. Romans 11:32). The Lord teaches us in the Gospel of life to cleave each day to repentance, and that if we are negligent in works and do not possess daily repentance, we should not resort to the greatness of knowledge, faith, and mercy. Unto Him be glory, and may He make us wise in His truth unto the ages. Amen.




Let every man who comes upon this book pray. And let every man who reads it pray.

And let every man who owns it pray.

And for him who prays let us all together pray, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. Amen.




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Made in the Divine Image
Source: Richard Rohr's Article:  https://cac.org/seeing-the-divine-image-everywhere-2018-12-23/

Richard Rohr Meditation: Made in the Divine Image

Center for Action and Contemplation

Oct 26, 2021, 11:24 PM

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Made in the Divine Image

Father Richard views religion’s purpose as reminding us of who we truly are:

The essential work of religion is to help us recognize and recover the divine image in ourselves and everything else too. Whatever we call it, this ‘image of God’ is absolute and unchanging. There is nothing we can do to increase or decrease it. It is not ours to decide who has it or does not have it. It is a pure and total gift, given equally to all. [1]
Made in the Divine Image
HOMILIES ST ISAAC FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY
-FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY.

7:1The noetic renewal of the saints is the crown of the intellect and the understanding which have communion with God through the revelation of His glorious mysteries, but the universal renewal is the general resurrection of all.
HOMILIES ST ISAAC FROM THE SEVENTH CENTURY
HOMILIES ST ISAAC Epistle to Abba Symeon


Part II – An Epistle to Abba Symeon of Caesarea.
(The Greek printed text addresses this epistle to Symeon the Wonderworker, while the Greek manuscripts have Abba Symeon of Caesarea. Judging merely by the content of the epistle it seems most unlikely that it was written to Saint Symeon of the Wondrous Mountain (Near Antioch) who is also called the Wonderworker).

Your Epistle, O Holy Man, is not simply written words, but as in a mirror you have depicted therein and made manifest your love for us. As you think us to be, so have you written; and you have shown by your very actions that you love us exceedingly, so that on account of your great love, you forget our measure. For that which it were meet for us to write to your holiness and to ask, so as to learn the truth from you (if we were solicitous over our own salvation), this you have anticipated and written to us by reason of the magnitude of your love. But probably you did this with the art of [[divine]] philosophy, so that by means of the subtle and spiritual questions you ask me, my soul

HOMILIES ST ISAAC Epistle to Abba Symeon
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