The Contemplative’s Obligation

His attention focussed on the higher spheres of contemplative activity, he is initiated into the hidden mysteries of God, and through his words of wisdom he lovingly ministers to those who are capable of learning about these things. In this way he does not use his talent solely for his own benefit, but also shares its benediction with his fellow-men.

Philokalia, vol. IV, p. 149

How to Lose Your True Wealth

If you aspire to friendship with Christ, you will hate money and the gluttonous love of money; for money lures towards itself the mind of whoever loves it and diverts it from love of Jesus….

You should realize, however, that money is in fact disastrous to you, and the disaster will be all the greater because you will also lose your true wealth, God, without whom the life of salvation is impossible.

If you love money you do not love Christ….

– Nikita Stithatos, On The Inner Nature of Things, nos. 56 & 57.

The Restoration of Purity

Do not say in your heart, it is now impossible for me to acquire a virginal purity, for I have succumbed in so many ways to the seduction and delirium of the body. For once the soul engages fervently and strenuously in the labours of repentance and we shed tears of compunction, then the prison-house is razed to the ground, the fire of the passions is extinguished, we are spiritually reborn through the abiding presence of the Paraclete, and once again the soul becomes a palace of purity and virginity.

– Nikitas Stithatos, On The Inner Nature of Things, no. 50

Spiritual Negligence

The light that enters the soul through the agency of the divine Spirit is liable to withdraw as a result of our laxity, negligence or perfunctoriness in matters of food or speech. Carelessness over what we eat and an unstable diet, as well as an uncontrolled tongue and unguarded eyes, will naturally drive the light from the soul and plunge us into darkness. And once we are filled with darkness all the beasts in the wild places of our heart and our whelp-like passion-imbued thoughts rove raucously through it, seeking to feed on our impassioned proclivities and to despoil the treasure garnered in us by the Spirit.

– Nikitas Stithatos, On the Inner Nature of Things, 47

Know Thyself

‘Know thyself’: this is true humility, the humility that teaches us to be inwardly humble and makes our heart contrite. Such humility you must cultivate and guard. For if you do not yet know yourself you cannot know what humility is, and have not yet embarked truly on the task of cultivating and guarding. To know oneself is the goal of the practice of the virtues.

– Nikitas Stithatos, On The Inner Nature of Things