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Высказывания о душе
[ ] 15.08.2009, 14:37
Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers
Soul
29 Entries


Virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can feed on either one, turning to whichever one it wants. If it is bent toward moral excellence, it will be fed by virtue - by righteousness, temperance, meekness, endurance. In other words, it is just as St. Paul says, 'being nourished by the word of truth' (1 Tim. 4:6). St. Ignatius of Antioch 

If the soul does not incline toward good things, but rather toward evil, it is nourished by nothing but sin. The Holy Spirit, describing sinners and their food, alluded to the devil when He said, 'You gave him as food for the people of the wilderness' (Ps. 75:14, LXX). Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is heavenly bread, the food of the saints, as He said: 'Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood' (John 6:53). St. Ignatius of Antioch 

'You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your might' (Deut. 6:5). When I heard the words 'with all your soul' I was astounded, and no longer needed to hear the rest. For 'with all your soul' means with the intelligent, incensive and desiring powers of the soul, because it is of these three powers that the soul is composed. Thus the intellect should think at all times about divine matters, while desire should long constantly and entirely, as the Law says, for God alone and never for anything else; and the incensive power should actively oppose only what obstructs this longing, and nothing else. St. Peter of Damaskos(24 Discourses; Love) 

...the intellect functions, first, by observing things other than itself, so far as this is necessary...Secondly, it returns to itself and operates within itself, and so beholds itself...This is the intellect's highest and most befitting activity and, through it, it even transcends itself and is united with God." St. Gregory Palamas (Those Who Practise a Life of Stillness no. 5, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 336) 

A soul is perfect if its passible aspect is totally orientated towards God. St. Maximos the Confessor (Third Century on Love no. 98) 

According to our wise teacher (St. Gregory of Nyssa) the soul is tripartite. When virtue is in the mental part it is called circumspection, sagacity and wisdom. When it is in the desiring part it is called chastity, love and self-mastery. When it is in the excitable part it is called courage and patience. When it is in the whole soul it is called righteousness. The task of circumspection is to fight forces hostile to us, to protect virtues to drive away vices and to manage neutral things according to the moment. The task of sagacity is to organize rightly everything which assists our aim; and the task of wisdom is to contemplate corporeal and incorporeal beings in all their aspects. The task of chastity is to look at things without passion, especially the foolish dreams and desires which agitate us. The task of love is to show itself towards every person, bearing God's image, almost as it does towards the Prototype, even though the demons strive to degrade someone in our eyes. The task of self-mastery is to refuse with joy all that pleases the palate. The work of patience and courage is not to fear the enemies and willingly to endure all afflictions. The task of righteousness is to keep all the parts of the soul in harmony and concord. Abba Evagrius the Monk(Texts on Active Life no. 61) 

Every deiform soul is tripartite, according to Gregory the Theologian. Virtue, when established in the intelligence, he calls discretion, understanding and wisdom; and when in the incensive power, he calls it courage and patience; and when in the faculty of desire, he calls it love, self-restraint and self-control. Justice or right judgment penetrates all three aspects of the soul, enabling them to function in harmony. St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic (A Century of Spiritual Texts no. 24) 

How much care do people exercise in order to save their soul? What medicines do they use in order to protect it from the microbes of sin which threaten and attract it? And yet, the Lord has indicated the medicines: love, warm prayer, and humility. They must employ all of them, seeking at the same time the help of God, through which alone can the soul be regenerated and be freed from the microbes of sin...Sin must be banished from the soul: greed, rapacity, impatience, improper imagination. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155 

My soul, seek the Only One . . . My soul, you have no part with the earth; for you are from heaven. You are the image of God: seek your First Image. For like strives after like. Each object finds its rest in its center and element -- fish in water, fire in its upward movement everything strives to its center. My soul, you are an immaterial spirit, immortal. . . In Him alone you will find your rest. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk 

Now the health of the soul is the accomplishment of the Divine Will, just as, on the other hand, the disease of the soul that ends in death is the falling away from this good Will. We fell ill when we forsook the wholesome way of life in Paradise and filled ourselves with the poison of disobedience, through which our nature was conquered by this evil and deadly disease. Then there came the true Physician who cured the evil perfectly by its opposite, as is the law of medicine. For those who had succumbed to the disease because they had separated themselves from the Divine Will, He frees once more from their sickness by uniting them to the Will of God. For the words of the prayer bring the cure of the disease which is in the soul. For He prays as if His soul was immersed in pain, saying, `Thy Will be done.' Now the Will of God is the salvation of men. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes 

Once a soul deeply wounded by divine longing has experienced the balm of God's noetic gifts, it cannot remain static or fixed in itself, but will aspire to rise ever further towards heaven. The higher it rises through the Spirit and the further it penetrates into the depths of God, the more it is consumed by the fire of desire; and it explores in all their immensity the yet deeper mysteries of God, anxious to attain the blessed light where every intellect is rapt out of itself and where - its goal achieved - it reposes in heartfelt joy. Nikitas Stithatos(On Spiritual Knowledge no. 37) 

Our soul has three parts or powers - the thinking, the desiring and the excitable. Owing to their corruption, these three powers give birth to three corresponding kinds of wrong thoughts and movements. The thinking power gives birth to thoughts of ingratitude to God and complaints, forgetfulness of God, ignorance of divine things, ill-judgment and all kinds of blasphemous thoughts. The desiring power gives birth to pleasure-loving thoughts, thoughts of vain-glory, love of money and all their numerous ramifications, belonging to the domain of self-indulgence. The excitable power gives birth to thoughts of anger, hatred, envy, revenge, gloating, ill-will, and generally to all evil thoughts. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare:Chapter 13) 

Since angels and souls are incorporeal beings, they are not in a particular place, yet neither are they everywhere. They do not sustain all things, but themselves depend on Him Who sustains them. Hence they, too, are in Him Who sustains and embraces all things, and they are appropriately delimited by Him. The soul, since it sustains the body with which it is created, is everywhere in the body, although not in the sense of being located in a place or encompassed, but it itself sustains, encompasses and quickens the body, by virtue of the fact that it is in God's image. St. Gregory Palamas, Philokalia, Vol. IV 

Since the angels and souls are incorporeal beings, they are not in a particular place, yet neither are they everywhere. They do not sustain all things, but themselves depend on Him Who sustains them. Hence they, too, are in Him Who sustains and embraces all things, and they are appropriately delimited by Him. The soul, since it sustains the body with which it is created, is everywhere in the body, although not in the sense of being located in a place or encompassed; but it itself sustains, encompasses and quickens the body, by virtue of the fact that it is in God's image. St. Gregory Palamas, in Philokalia, Vol. 4 

The body, being only the temporal garment of the soul, is perishable, and does not constitute the true life of the man. The true life is the spiritual life. If you rend, if you destroy the man's garment, still he himself remains alive; so also after the slaying, after the death, the corruption of the body, the soul remains alive. Let us then chiefly care for the soul, for its salvation!" St. John of Kronstadt 

The grace of God is the life of our souls. Our soul cannot be alive without the grace of God. For as our body lives by the soul, so our soul lives by the grace of God. Pray, then, always and sigh unto God that He give you His grace, and that He preserve you in it. We need the grace of God every minute. For this reason, sigh often from the depths of your heart, `Create in me a clean heart, O God, a renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not the Holy Spirit from me.' St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Journey to Heaven 

The rational soul of man has supernatural, infinite aspirations. If the rational soul were dependent upon the body and died together with the body, it should necessarily submit to the body and follow it in all its appetites. Independence would have been contrary both to the laws of nature and to reason, because it disturbs the harmony between the body and the soul. As dependent upon the body it should submit to the body and follow in all its appetites and desires, whereas, on the contrary, the soul masters the body, imposes its will upon the body. The soul subjugates and curbs the appetites and passions of the body, and directs them as it (the soul) wills. This phenomenon comes to the attention of every rational man; and whoever is conscious of his own rational soul is conscious of the souls's mastery over the body.

The mastery of the soul over the body is proved by the obedience of the body when it is being led with self-denial to sacrifice for the sake of the abstract ideas of the soul. The domination by the soul for prevalence of its principles, ideas, and views would have been entirely incomprehensible if the soul died together with the body. But a mortal soul would never have risen to such a height, would never have condemned itself to death along with the body for the prevalence of abstract ideas that lacked meaning, since no noble idea, no noble and courageous thought has any meaning for a mortal soul.

A soul, therefore, which is capable of such things,must be immortal. "Modern Orthodox Saints, St. Nectarios of Aegina", Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Belmont, Massachusetts., 1981., pp. 154-187 

The soul is a living substance, simple, incorporeal, invisible to the physical eye, immortal and endowed with mind and reason. What the eye is to the body, that the mind is to the soul. "Reflections on the Eight Thoughts", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 113 - 114 

The soul is tripartite and is considered as having three powers: the intelligent, the incensive, and the appetitive. Because the soul was ill in all three powers, Christ, the soul's Healer, began His cure with the last, the appetitive. For desire unsatisfied fuels the incensive power, and when both the appetitive and incensive powers are sick they produce distraction of mind. Thus the soul's incensive power will never be healthy before the appetitive power is healed; nor will the intelligence be healthy until the other two powers are first restored to health. St. Gregory Palamas(To the Most Reverend Nun Xenia no. 29) 

The soul may quite sensibly be compared to the finest down and the lightest feather which, if spared the onset and penetration of dampness from without, have a nature so mobile that at the slightest breeze they rise up of themselves to the highest points of the sky. But if they are weighed down by any splash, any dampening of moisture, not only will there be no natural impulse to fly up into the air but the pressure of the absorbed liquid will drag them downward to earth. So too with our soul. If sin and worldly preoccupation have not weighed it down, if dangerous passion has not sullied it, the, lifted up by the natural goodness of its purity, it will rise to the heights on the lightest breath of meditation and, leaving the lowly things, the things of earth, it will travel upward to the heavenly and the invisible. St. John Cassian, The Conferences 

Time passes without stopping, and my body, even during my lifetime, constantly changes and passes on, and the whole world as is seen in its motion, also passes on, as though it were hurrying to its appointed end, like a machine set in motion. Where, then, is constancy? Constancy is that which moves and directs all this to its purpose. The first Cause of all that is complex and created is constant, being Itself not complex, and therefore not passing, but eternal. The souls of angels and men, created after the image of the first Cause, are also constant. Everything else is like a soap bubble. I do not lower creation by these words, but only thus speak of it in comparison with the Creator and beatified souls. St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ, Part 1; Holy Trinity Monastery pg. 16) 

To the aspect of the soul that is accessible to passion we impart the best of all dispositions, that of love; and we also raise the level of the intelligence by repelling whatever impedes the mind in its ascent towards God: this aspect of the law we call watchfulness. St. Gregory Palamas(Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness no. 2) 

We can never see the state of our soul in all its nakedness or vividly realize its danger without the special grace and help of God, because the interior of our soul is always hidden from us by our self-love, prejudices, passions, worldly cares, delusions. And if it sometimes seems to us that we see the state of our soul ourselves, yet we see it only superficially and no more than our own reason and conscience can show us. St. Innocent of Kamchatka, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven 

When God through His life-giving breath created the soul deiform and intellective, He did not implant in it anger and desire that are animal-like. But He did endow it with a power of longing and aspiration, as well as with a courage responsive to divine love. St. Gregory of Sinai(On Commandments and Doctrines no. 82) 

When a Christian exercises watchful care, he heals his soul and does not allow it to be lost....Do not let your soul go astray in matter, in the corruptible things of the world. Life has no value if we do not take care of the soul. Therefore, do not let yourselves go astray and lose your soul Read carefully the Gospels, because these were written with the Grace and the glory of God, to be read by the faithful that their life might shine. Modern Orthodox Saints Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene of Lesvos., by Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., 1990., pp. 145-155 

Virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can feed on either one, turning to whichever one it wants. If it is bent toward moral excellence, it will be fed by virtue - by righteousness, temperance, meekness, endurance. In other words, it is just as St. Paul says, 'being nourished by the word of truth' (1 Tim. 4:6). St. Ignatius of Antioch 

If the soul does not incline toward good things, but rather toward evil, it is nourished by nothing but sin. The Holy Spirit, describing sinners and their food, alluded to the devil when He said, 'You gave him as food for the people of the wilderness' (Ps. 75:14, LXX). Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is heavenly bread, the food of the saints, as He said: 'Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood' (John 6:53). St. Ignatius of Antioch 

…soul and Christ you need…These two guard; do not lose them. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779 

The chief evil with relation to the body is love for the body and pitying it. This takes away all the soul's authority over the body and makes the soul the slave of the body. And on the contrary, one who does not spare the body will not be disturbed in whatever he does by apprehensions born of blind love of life. How fortunate is one who is trained to this from childhood! REF:St Theophan the Recluse, "The Path to Salvation" p51

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