Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Lenten Lessons: Aspirations

stnikodemusoftheholymountainikon“Those, on the other hand, who dwell in the wilderness and lead the quiet life, despise all the pleasures which others long for, as harmful to the soul and separating it from God. They withdraw their mind from every distraction and contemplation of the world, and gather it into their heart; and there they pray unceasingly, meditating on the dearest and sweetest name of Jesus, saying lovingly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.” Through this unceasing prayer and frequent meditation on the name of Jesus they kindle in their heart the aspiration and eros for God, and turn their mind to the contemplation of the Divine beauty. Being thus enraptured by that surpassing beauty, and becoming ecstatic, they forget food, drink, and clothes. – St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (The New Ladder, pp. 37-38. Quoted in Cavarnos, pp. 136-137)

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