Περι προσευχῆς

Duke Jean prays to Christ. the Duke of Berry's Petites Heures, BNF Lat 18014.

Translation by Luke Dysinger, O.S.B.  (translation in public domain) The Greek text below is based on: PG 79.1165-1200; Philokalia; and Tugwell.[1] it has been updated according to the critical edition of Géhin (SC 589)












TO 132







[Prl. 1.]  I WAS feverish with the inflammation of the passions, when you revived me as you usually do with the [healing] touch of your godly letter, palliating my diseased nous (intellect) in its shameful deformity: and thus you blessedly imitated our great teacher Macarios.

Πυρέττοντά με τῷ φλογμῷ τῶν ἀκαθάρτων παθῶν, συνήθως ἀνεκτήσω τῇ τῶν θεοφιλῶν σου γραμμάτων ἐπαφῇ, τὸν κάμνοντά μου νοῦν ἐν τοῖς αἰσχίστοις παραμυθησάμενος· καὶ τὸν μέγαν μιμησάμενος καθηγητὴν, και διδάσκαλον Μακάριον·  

  And this is no surprise: for your share was the marked ones like blessed Jacob: you served well for Rachel, received Leah; and now you seek the [real] object of your longing, having fulfilled ‘the week’ [of years] (Gen 29:15-30).

Καὶ οὐ θαυμαστόν· σῆ γὰρ ἀεὶ μερὶς γέγονε τὰ ἐπίσημα, ὡς καί τοῦ εὐλογημένου Ἰακώβ· καλῶς γὰρ δουλεύσας τῆς ᾿Ραχὴλ χάριν, καὶ λαβὼν τὴν Λείαν, ζητεῖς καὶ τὴν ποθουμένην, ὡς καὶ ταύτης δήπου πληρώσας τὰ ἕβδομα.

  For I do not deny that I had toiled all night and caught nothing: but when at your word I let down my nets (Lk 5:5) I caught an abundance of fish: I do not think they are [very] large, but there are a hundred and fifty-three of them (Jn 21:11); and I am sending them to you in the basket of love (cf. Mt 15:37; Mk 8:8) in an equivalent number of chapters, thereby fulfilling your instructions.

̓Εγὼ δὲ οὐκ ἀρνηθείην, ὡς ὅλην τὴν νύκτα κοπιάσας, πεπίακα οὐδὲν· πλὴν αλλ' ἐπὶ τῷ σῷ λόγῶ χαλάσας τὸ δίκτυον ἤγρευσα ἰχθύων πλῆθος, οὐκ οἲμαι μὲν μεγάλων, ἑκατὸν δὲ ὅμως καὶ πεντηκοντατριῶν καὶ τούτους ἀπέσταιλα ἐν τῇ σπυρίδι τῆς ἀγάπης, διὰ τῶν ἰσαρίθμων κεφαλαίων, τὴν πρόσταξίν σου πεπληρωκώς·

  I am amazed at you and very jealous of your excellent purpose.  For your do not simply yearn for these [texts] that came into existence through hands, ink, and paper; rather [you yearn] for chapters fixed in the nous (intellect) through love and forgetfulness of injury.

Θαυμάζω δέ σε, καὶ λίαν ζηλῶ τῆς ἀρίστης προθέσεως τῶν περὶ προσευχῆς ἐρῶντα κεφαλαίων. Οὐ γὰρ ἁπλῶς τούτων ἐρᾷς τῶν προχείρων, καὶ ἐν χάρτῃ διὰ μέλανος τὸ εἲναι ἐχόντων, ἀλλὰ τῶν ἐν νῷ ἰδρυμένων δι' ἀγάπης, καὶ ἀμνησικακίας· 

Prl. 2


[Prl. 2.] SINCE everything is twofold, each facing the other as the wise Jesus [Ben-Sirach] says (Sir. 42:24), receive these chapters 

 Ἀλλ' ἐπεὶ <πάντα δισσὰ, ἓν κατέναντι τοῦ ἑνὸς,> κατὰ τὸν σοφὸν 'Ιησοῦν, δέχου

[2] both in letter;

[1] and in spirit. 

πρὸς τῷ γράμματι
καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα.

Understand that nous (intellect) takes complete precedence over the letter, since without [nous] there can be no letter.

Σύνες, ὡς πάντως τοῦ γράμματος νοῦς προηγεῖται· οὐκ ὄντος γὰρ τούτου, οὐδὲ γράμμα ἔσται.

In the same way prayer also has a twofold mode: 

Οὐκοῦν καὶ προσευχῆς διττὸς ὁ τρόπος,

[1] one active;

[2] the other contemplative. 

ὁ μέν τις πρακτικὸς,
ὁ δὲ θεωρητικὸς·

And it is the same with numbers: 

οὕτως καὶ ἀριθμοῦ,

[1] on the surface there is quantity;

[2] while the inner significance is quality

τὸ μὲν πρόχειρον ἐστι προσότης,
τὸ δὲ σημαινόμενον ποιότης.

Prl. 3


[Prl. 3.]  THEREFORE, in dividing my saying[s] on prayer into one hundred and fifty-three I am catering for you a ‘fish-[dinner]’ from the gospels (cf. Jn 21:12-13), to delight you with a symbolic number in which you will find both a triangular and a hexagonal form. [These] signify both:

Εἰς ἑκατὸν οὖν πεντήκοντα τρίτον τὸν περὶ προσευχῆς λόγον διειληφόντες, εὐαγγελικὸν ὀψώνιόν σοι πεπόμφαμεν, ἵνα εὕρῃς συμβολικοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τερπνότητα καὶ σχῆμα τρίγωνον, καὶ ἐξάγωνον, ὁμοῦ μὲν

[2] reverent knowledge of the Trinity;

[1] and the boundaries of the orderly arrangement of the universe.

εὐσεβῆ γνῶσιν Τριάδος,
ὁμοῦ δὲ καὶ τῆσδε τῆς διακοσμήσεως τὴν περιγραφὴν ὑπεμφαῖνον.

  So, while the number one hundred by itself is ‘square’, fifty-three is a combination  of ‘triangular’ and ‘spherical’; because twenty-eight is triangular, and twenty-five is spherical (five times five equals twenty-five)

'Αλλ' ὁ ἑκατὸν ἀριθμὸς καθ' ἑαυτὸν τετράγωνός ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ πεντήκοντα τρίτος, τρίγωνος, καὶ σφαιρικὸς· ὁ γὰρ εἰκοστὸς ὄγδοος μὲν τρίγωνος, σφαιρικὸς δὲ ὁ εἰκοστὸς πεμπτος· πεντάκις γὰρ πέντε, εἰκοσιπέντε.

  So you not only have a square number, on account of the tetrad of the virtues; but also the wise knowledge of this age that resembles the number twenty-five because of the spherical nature of time.  

Οὐκοῦν ἔχεις τὸ τετράγωνον σχῆμα, οὐ μόνον διὰ τῆς τετρακτύος τῶν ἀρετῶν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦδε τοῦ αιῶνος τὴν ἔνσοφον γνῶσιν τῷ εἰκοστῷ πέμπτῳ ἀριθμῷ ἐοικυῖαν, διὰ τὸ σφαιρικὸν τῶν χρόνων.

For week after week, month after month, year after year, [time] rolls on from season to season, as we see in the movements of sun and moon, spring and summer, and the rest.

Ἑβδομὰς γὰρ ἐπὶ ἑβδομάδα, καὶ μὴν ἐπὶ μῆνα δινεῖται καὶ ἐξ ἐνιαυτοῦ εἰς ἐνιααυτὸν ὁ χρόνος κυλινδεῖται καὶ καιρὸς ἐπὶ καιρὸν, ὡς ἐπὶ κινήσεως ἡλίου, καὶ σελήνης, ἔαρος καὶ θέρους, καὶ τῶν ἑξῆς ὁρῶμεν.

Prl. 4


[Prl. 4.] THE triang[ular number] you may take as signifying the knowledge of the Holy Trinity.

Τὸ δὲ τρίγωνον σημαίνει ἄν σοι τὴν τῆς ἁγίας Τριάδος γνῶσιν,

Or else, if you obtain a  hundred and fifty-three by adding up many numbers, since it is a triangular number, consider it to mean: 

ἁλλ' εὶ δὲ διὰ τῆς πληθύος τῶν ἀριθμῶν κομίζῃ τὸν ἑκατοστὸν πεντηκοστὸν τρίτον τρίγωνον ὄντα, νόει

[1] praktiké [asceticism],
[2] physiké [natural science], and
[3] theologiké [theology];  or

θεολογικὴν, ἢ

[1] faith
[2] hope, and
[3] love; (1Cor 13.13) or


[1] gold
[2] silver, and
[3] precious stones (1Cor 3.12)

λίθους τιμίους.>

Prl. 5


[Prl. 5.]  ENOUGH, then, of these numbers. The chapters themselves are humble, but you will not be contemptuous, since you have known both plenty and want (Ph 4:12); and you have certainly not forgotten him who, far from rejecting the widow’s two coins, welcomed then more than the wealth of the many.  (Mk 12:42)

'Αλλ' ὁ μὲν ἀριθμὸς τοιοῦτος, τῶν δὲ κεφαλαίων τὸ ταπεινὸν οὐ περιυβρίσειας, ὡς <εἰδὼς καὶ χορτάζεσθαι, καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι,> ναὶ μὴν καὶ ὡς μεμνημένος τοῦ τὰ δύο τῆς χήρας λεπτὰ μὴ ἀποβεβληκότος, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὲρ πλοῦτον ετέρων πολλῶν ἀυτὰ ἀποδεξαμένου.

  You know how to preserve the fruit of goodwill and love of your genuine brethren; so pray for me in my illness that I may be healed, and then take up my bed and walk (Mk. 2:11) by the grace of Christ  Amen.

Οὐκοῦν εὐνοίας, καὶ ἀγάπης καρπὸν εἰδὼς, φυλάσσειν σοῖς γνησίοις ἀδελφοῖς, προσεύχου ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀρρωστοῦντος, ὅπως ὑγιαίνῃ καὶ <ἄρας αυτοῦ λοιπὸν τὸν κράββατον περιπατήσῃ, χάριτι Χριστοῦ.  Ἀμήν.




ON  PRAYER     § 1 - 153




  1. IF one wishes to prepare fragrant incense, he should combine clear frankincense, cassia, onycha and oil [of myrrh] in equal amounts, according to the Law (Ex 30:34-7). This signifies the tetrad of the virtues For if these four are fully [present] and equally balanced, the nous (intellect) will not be betrayed. [cf. Gnost. 6.]

 Α´.  Εἴ τις βούλοιτο εὐῶδες θυμίαμα σκευάσαι, τὸν διαφανῆ λίβανον, καὶ τὴν κασσίαν καὶ τὸν ὄνυχα, καὶ τὴν στάκτην ἐξίσου συνθήσει κατὰ τὸν νόμον·  ταῦτα δέ ὲστιν ἡ τετρὰς τῶν ἀρετῶν· ἐὰν γὰρ πληρέσταται, καὶ ἴσαι τυγχάνωσιν, οὐ προδοθήσεται ὁ νοῦς.



  2. A SOUL purified through the fullness of the virtues establishes in the nous a position of steadiness, rendering it receptive of the desired state.

 Β´.  Καθαρθεῖσα ψυχὴ διὰ τῆς τῶν ἀρετῶν πληρότητος, ἀκλόνον τὴν τάξιν τοῦ νοῦ κατασκευάζει, δεκτικὸν αὐτὸν ποιοῦσα τῆς ζητουμένης καταστάσεως.



  3. PRAYER is [intimate] conversation of the nous with God.  So then, what stable state must the nous possess to be capable of stretching out unwaveringly toward its own Master and converse with him without any intermediary?

 Γ´. Ἡ προσευχὴ, ὁμιλία ἐστι νοῦ πρὸς Θεόν· Ποίας οὖν δεῖται καταστάσεως ὁ νοῦς, ἵνα ἰσχυσῃ ἀμεταστρόφως ἐκταθῆναι πρὸς τὸν οἰκεῖον Δεσπότην καὶ συνομιλεῖν αὐτῷ μηδενὸς μεσιτεύοντος;



  4. IF Moses was hindered when he attempted to approach the bush burning on earth, until he had taken off the shoes from [his] feet (Ex. 3:2-5); how can you, if you wish to see and converse with Him Who is above all perception and concepts, not not put off every passioned thought (noema) from yourself?

 Δ´.  Εἰ τῇ ἐπὶ γῆς βάτῳ φλεγομένῃ προσεγγίσαι πειράσας Μωϋσῆς κωλύεται, ἄχρις οὗ <λύσει τὸ ὑπόδημα τῶν ποδῶν,> πῶς αὐτὸς τὸν ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν αἴσθησιν καὶ ἔννοιαν ἰδεῖν βουλόμενος, καὶ συνόμιλος αὐτῷ γενέσθαι, οὐ λύεις ἐκ σοῦ πὰν νόημα ἐμπαθές;



  5. FIRST, pray to receive tears, so that by means of mourning (penthos) you may be able to calm the savagery inherent in your soul, and by confessing your offence to the Lord (Ps 32.5), obtain forgiveness from him.

 Ε´.  Πρότερον περὶ λήψεως δακρύων προσεύχου, ἵνα δυνηθῇς διὰ τοῦ πένθους μαλάξαι τὴν ἐνυπάρχουσαν τῇ ψυχῇ σου ἀγριότητα, καὶ <ἐξαγορεύσας κατὰ σου τὴν ἀνομίαν σοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ> τῆς παρ' αὐτοῦ ἀφέσεως τεύξῃ.



  6. MAKE use of tears to support every petition, for it greatly pleases your Master to receive prayer with tears.

 Ϛ´.  Κέχρησο τοῖς δάκρυσι πρὸς παντὸς αἰτήματος κατόρθωσιν· λίαν γὰρ χαίρει σου ὁ Δεσπότες ἔνδακρυν προσευχὴν δεχόμενος.



  7. EVEN if you weep rivers of tears at your prayer, on no account be inwardly haughty, as if you were superior to others. For your prayer has received this help so that you may be able to [more] easily confess your sins and propitiate the Lord by means of tears. So do not turn into passion the antidote to passions, lest you anger all the more the [One] who gave you this grace.

 Ζ´.Κἂν πηγὰς δακρύων ἐκχέῃς ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου, μηδαμῶς ἐπαίρου ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὡς ὑπὲρ τοὺς πολλοὺς ὤν· βοήθειαν γὰρ προσείληφεν ἡ προσευχή σου, ἵνα δυνηθῇς προθύμως ἐξαγορεῦσαί σου τὰς ἁμαρτίας καὶ ἐξευμενίσασθαι τὸν Δεσπότην διὰ τῶν δακρύων. Μὴ οὖν εἰς πάθος τρέψῃς τὸ τῶν παθῶν ἀλέξημα, ἵνα μὴ πλέον παροργίσῃς τὸν δεδωκότα τὴν χάριν·



  8. MANY who weep for their sins, have forgotten the purpose of their weeping, gone insane, and wandered away.

 Η´.  πολλοὶ δακρύοντες ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν, επιλαθόμενοι τοῦ τῶν δακρύων σκοποῦ, μανέντες ἐξεπλάγησαν.



  9. STAND patiently toiling,

and pray well-toned,

 Θ´.  Στῆθι ἐμπόνως,

καὶ προσεύχου εὐτόνως,

and put to flight the assaults of anxieties and [tempting-]thoughts: they disturb and trouble you in order to make you relax your tone.

καὶ ἀποστρέφου τὰς τῶν φροντίδων καὶ διαλογισμῶν ἐπιτεύξεις· ταράττουσι γὰρ καὶ θορυβοῦσί σε, ἵνα ἐκλύσως τοῦ τόνου.



  10. WHEN the demons see that you are eager to truly pray, they insinuate mental concepts (noemata) of certain affairs that seem to demand attention; and within a short [time] they arouse the memory of these things and move the nous to seek them out. And failing to find them, it becomes very sorrowful and disheartened. Then when [the nous] stands for prayer, the demons remind it of the [matters] it had sought and remembered, so that it passively relaxes into knowledge (gnosis) of them and loses its fruitful prayer.

 Ι´. Ὅταν ἴδωσί σε οἱ δαίμονες προθυμούμενόν ἀληθῶς προσεύξασθαι, τότε ὑποτίθενται νοήματά τινων πραγμάτων δῆθεν ἀναγκαίων, καὶ μετὰ βραχὺ ἐπαίρουσι σου τὴν περὶ αὐτῶν μνήμην, κινοῦντες τὸν νοῦν πρὸς ζήτησιν αὐτῶν, καὶ ὡς μὴ εὑρίσκων, σφόδρα λυπεῖται καὶ ἀθυμεῖ. Ἡνίκα δὲ στῇ εἰς προσευχὴν, ὑπομιμνήσκουσιν αὐτὸν τῶν ζητητέων, καὶ μνημονευθέντων, ἵνα χαυνωθεὶς ὁ νοῦς πρὸς τὴν γνῶσιν αὐτῶν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ἔγκαρπον προσευχήν.



 11. EXERT your nous to stand at the time of prayer [as if] deaf and dumb, and [then] you will be able to pray.

 ΙΑ´. Ἀγωνίζου στῆσαι τὸν νοῦν σου, κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς κωφὸν καὶ ἄλαλον, καὶ δυνήσῃ προσεύξασθαι.



 12. WHENEVER you meet with some temptation or contradiction or when some desire to take vengeance on your enemy moves you to anger or to burst out into meaningless cries, remember prayer and the judgment it entails, and immediately the lawless movement of your soul will be quieted.

 ΙΒ´. Ἡνίκα ἄν ἀπαντήσει σοι πειρασμὸς, ἢ ἀντιλογία, ἢ διερεθίσῃ πρὸς τὴν δι' ἐναντίας ἄμυνα κινῆσαι θυμὸν, η τινἂ ἄσημον ῥῆξαι φωνήν, μνήσθητι τῆς προσευχῆς καὶ τοῦ κατ' αὐτὴν κρίματος· καὶ εὐθέως ἡ ἔν σοι ἄτακτος κίνησις ἠρεμήσει.



 13. IF you take any [kind of] revenge on a brother who has wronged you, it will all become a stumbling block for you at the time of prayer.

 ΙΓ´. Ὅσα ἂν ποιήσῃς πρὸς ἄμυναν ἀδελφοῦ ἠδικηκότος σε, ἅπαντα εἰς σκάνδαλόν σοι γενήσεται ἐν καιρῷ προσευχῆς.



 14. PRAYER is an offshoot of gentleness and freedom from anger.

 ΙΔ´.  Προσευχή ἐστι πραότητος καὶ ἀοργησίας βλάστημα.



 15. PRAYER is the budding forth of joy and thankfulness.

 ΙΕ´.  Προσευχή ἐστι χαρᾶς καὶ εὐχαριστίας πρόβλημα.



 16. PRAYER is an antidote to sadness and despondency.

 ΙϚ´.  Προσευχή ἐστι λύπης καὶ ἀθυμίας ἀλέξημα.



 17. GO, sell what you possess and give [it] to the poor (Mt/19.21; Mk 10:21), and take up your cross  and deny yourself (cf. Mt. 16.24; Mk 8:34) so that you will be able to pray without distraction.

 ΙΖ´. < Ἀπελθὼν πώλησόν σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς,> καὶ <λαβὼν τὸν σταυρόν,> ἀπάρνησαι ἑαυτόν, ἵνα δυνηθῇς ἀπερισπάστως προσεύχεσθαι.



  18. IF you wish to pray laudably, deny yourself every hour (cf. Lk 9:23), and even if you [pass through] every kind of suffering, study it carefully because of prayer.

̈ΙΗ´.  Εἰ βούλει ἐπαινετῶς προσεύχεσθαι, ἄρνησαι ἑαυτὸν καθ' ὥραν, καὶ πάμπολα δεινὰ πάσχων, ὑπὲρ προσευχῆς φιλοσόφει.



  19. WHATEVER difficulty you patiently endure while carefully studying [it], you will discover bearing fruit at the time of prayer.

 ΙΘ´. Ὅπερ ἄν χαλεπὸν ὑπομένων φιλοσοφήσῃς, τούτου τὸν καρπὸν κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς εὑρήσεις.



  20. IF you desire to pray as you ought, do not sadden any soul, otherwise you are running in vain (cf. Gal 2:2, Phil 2:16) 

 Κ´. 'Επιθυμῶν εύξασθι ὡς δεῖ, μὴ λυπήσῃς ψυχὴν· ει δὲ μήγε, <εἰς μάτην τρέχεις.>



  21. LEAVE your gift,” it says, before the altar, and first go away and be reconciled to your brother; (Mt 5:24) and after that you will be able to pray undisturbed. For memory of injury blinds the mind (hegemonikon) of one who prays, and darkens his prayers.

 ΚΑ´. <Αφες σου τὸ δῶρον φησὶν ἐμπροσθεν τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου> καὶ ἀπελθὼν πρότερον <διαλλάγηθι τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου,> καὶ τότε ἐλθών, προσεύξῃ ἀτάράχως·  ἣ γὰρ μνησικακία ἀμαυροῖ τὸ ἡγεμονικὸν τοῦ προσευχομένου καὶ σκοτίζει τούτου τὰς προσευχάς.



  22. THOSE who heap up sorrow and memory of injury within themselves, and then expect to pray, are like people who draw water and pour it into a perforated wine-jar.  (cf. Pr 23.27)

 ΚΒ´.  Οἱ λύπας καὶ μνησικακίας ἑαυτοῖς σωρεύοντες, καὶ προσεύχεσθαι δοκοῦντες, ὅμοιοί εἰσι τοῖς ὕδωρ ἀντλοῦσι, καὶ εἰς πίθον τετρημένον βάλλουσιν.



23. IF you are able to endure patiently, you will always pray with joy.

ΚΓ´. Ἐὰν ὑπομονητικὸς ᾖς, ἀεὶ μετἀ χαρᾶς προσεύξῃ.



24. WHEN you pray as you ought you will come up against matters of the sort that cause you to imagine it would be completely justifiable to use indignation [thumos]. But there is no such thing as justifiable indignation against your neighbor. If you investigate [this], you will discover that it is possible for the matter to be settled fairly without indignation . Employ every possible means to avoid bursting out in indignation.

 ΚΔ´.  Προσευχομένου σου δεόντως, τοιαῦτά σοι ἀπαντήσεται πράγματα, ἵνα δόξῃς δίκαιον εἶναι πάντως θυμῷ χρήσασθαι· οὐκ ἔστι δὲ δίκαιος θυμὸς κατὰ τοῦ πέλας τὸ σύνολον. Ἐὰν γὰρ ζητήσῃς, εὑρήσεις ὅτι δυναντὸν καὶ δίχα θυμοῦ καλῶς διατεθῆναι τὸ πρᾶγμα, Πάσῃ οὖν μηχανῇ χρῆσαι πρὸς τὸ μὴ ῥῆξαι θυμόν.



25. SEE that you do not infect yourself while trying to heal another, and that you do not [thus] excise your own prayer.

 ΚΕ´. Ὅρα μὴ δοκῶν ἕτερον ἰᾶσθαι, αὐτὀς ἀνίατος ἔσῃ, καὶ δῷς ἐκκοπὴν τῇ προσευχῇ σου.



26. IF you become indignant [only] sparingly you will yourself be spared: and you will prove yourself prudent and be among those who pray.

 ΚϚ´.  Φειδόμενος θυμοῦ, φειδὼ εὑρήσεις καὶ φρόνιμαν ἑαυτὸν ἀναδείξεις πρὸς τὸ εἰς οἴησιν, καὶ ἐν τοῖς προσευχομένοις ἔσῃ.



27. IF you arm yourself against indignation [thumos], you will never tolerate desire [epithumia]; because desire provides the matter for indignation, thus disturbing the noetic eye [and] abusing the state of prayer.    cf. KG 2.28

 ΚΖ´.  Κατὰ θυμοῦ ὁπλιζόμενος, ἐπιθυμίας οὐκ ἀνέξῃ ποτέ· αὕτη γὰρ ὕλας δίδωσι τῷ θυμῷ καὶ οὗτος  ταράττει τὸν νοερὸν ὀφθαλμὸν, λυμαινόμενος τὴν κατάστασιν τῆς προσευχῆς.



28. DO not pray solely with external postures, but instead direct your nous towards a sensitivity to spiritual prayer with profound awe.

ΚΗ´.  Μὴ ἐν μόνοις τοῖς ἐκτὸς σχήμασι προσεύχου, ἀλλὰ τρέπε τὸν νοῦν σου εἰς συναίσθησιν πνευματικῆς προσευχῆς μετὰ πολλοῦ φόβου.



 29. ON certain occasions when you stand for prayer you instantly pray well, while at other times, even after hard work you not achieve your purpose. This is so you will seek even more [vigorously], and upon receiving it keep your success secure.

ΚΘ´.  Ποτὲ μὲν ἀθρόως στὰς εἰς προσευχὴν εὖ προσεύξῃ· ποτὲ δὲ λίαν πονέσας, οὐκ ἐπιτεύξῃ τοῦ σκοποῦ· ἵνα ἔτι μᾶλλον ζητήσας, καὶ λαβών, ἕξεις ἄσυλον τὸ κατόρθωμα.



 30. WHEN on occasion an angel stands for us, then all who stand against us immediately vanish, and the nous is found greatly relieved, praying soundly. But at other times, when the usual battle is raging against us, the nous lashes out and is not permitted any concessions; for it has been prematurely aroused by the various passions. Nevertheless, if it goes on seeking, it will find, and if it knocks vigorously, [the door] will be opened (Mt 7:8).

 Λ´. Ἐπιστάντος ἀγγέλου, ἀθρόως ἅπαντες ἀφίστανται οἱ ἐνοχλοῦντες ἡμῖν, καὶ εὑρίσκεται ὁ νοῦς ἐν πολλῇ ἀνέσει, ὑγιῶς προσευχόμενος. Ποτὲ δὲ τοῦ συνήθους ἡμῖν πολέμου ἐπικειμένου, πυκτεύει ὁ νοῦς καὶ οὐ συγχωρεῖται ἀνανεῦσαι προπεποίωται γὰρ τοῖς ποικίλοις πάθεσιν. Ο(́μως ἐπὶ πλέον ζητῶν, εὑρήσει· <καὶ κρούοντι εὐτόνως ἀνοιγήσεται> αὐτῷ.



 31. DO not pray that what you will should be done, because your [will] is not in full harmony with the will of God. Pray instead  as you were taught, saying, Let your will be done in me (cf Mt 6:10, 24:2). And in all matters ask of him in this way that his will be done.  He wills [only] what is good and profitable for the soul; but that is not always what you seek.

  ΛΑ´.  Μὴ προσεύχου τὰ σὰ θελήματα γενέσθαι, οὐδὲ γὰρ πάντως συμωνοῦσι τῷ βουλήματι τοῦ θεοῦ ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον καθὼς ἐδιδάχθης, προσεύχου λέγων· <Γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου> ἐν ἐμοί. Καὶ ἐπὶ παντὶ δὲ πράγματι οὕτως αὐτὸν αἴτει, ἵνα τὸ αὐτοῦ γένηται θέλημα· θέλει γὰρ τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ συμφέρον τῇ ψυχῇ σοὺ· σοὐ δὲ οὐ πάντως τοῦτο ζητεῖς.



 32. I HAVE often prayed, requesting that something I thought was good for me be done for me, insisting on my request, and irrationally [attempting to] force God’s will. And [thus] I did not leave it to him who knows what is profitable to arrange (cf 1Cor 10:23). And when I eventually received what I asked for, I was very sorry I had asked for my own choice; for the matter did not turn out as I had imagined.

 ΛΒ´.  Πολλάκις προσευχόμενος ᾐτησάμην γεγέσθαι μοι ὃ ἔδοξα καλὸν εἶναί, καὶ ἐπέμενον τῶ αἰτήματι, ἀλόγως βιαζόμενος τὀ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ μὴ ἀποδιδοὺς αὐτῷ, ἵνα ὃ οἶδεν συμφέρον, αὐτὸ μᾶλλον οἰκονομήσῃ. Καὶ μέντοιγε καὶ λαβὼν, ἠχθέσθην ὕστερον λίαν διὰ τί μὴ μᾶλλον τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ἠτησάμην γενέσθαι· οὐ γαρ τοιοῦτόν μοι ἀπήντησεν τὸ πρᾶγμα, οἷον ἐνόμιζον.



 33. WHAT other good is there but God? (cf Mk 10:18)  So let us leave to Him everything that pertains to us, and [all] will be well with us. For He is wholly good and the giver of good gifts (cf Jas 1:17).

 ΛΓ´. Τί ἀγαθὸν ἀλλ' ἢ Θεός; Οὐκοῦν αὐτῷ ἀποδῶμεν πάντα τὰ καθ' ἡμᾶς, καὶ εὖ ἡμῖν ἔσται· ὁ γὰρ ἀγαθὸς πάντως καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἐστι πάροχος δωρεῶν.



 34. DO not become distressed if you do not receive at once from God [your] request; he wishes to benefit you even more as you continue steadfastly in prayer (Rom 12:12).   For what is higher than [enjoying] conversation with God and being taken up [lit distracted] with [conversational] intercourse with him?

 ΛΔ´. Μὴ ἐνδοίαζε μὴ κομιζόμενος εὐθέως παρὰ θεοῦ τὸ αἴτημα· βούλεται γὰρ σε ἐπὶ πλεῖον εὐεργετῆσαι προσκαρτεροῦντα αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ. Τί γὰρ ἀνώτερον τοῦ τῷ θεῷ προσομιλεῖν καὶ τῇ πρὸς αὐτὸν συνουσίᾳ περισπᾶσθαι;



 35. UNDISTRACTED prayer is the highest noetic [activity] of the nous.

 ΛΕ´. Ἀπερίσπαστος προσευχή ἐστιν ἄκρα νόησις νοός.



 36. PRAYER is the ascent of the nous to God.

 ΛϚ´.  Προσευχή ἐστιν ἀνάβασις νοῦ πρὸς Θεόν.



 37. IF you long to pray, renounce everything at once (cf. Lk 14:33) so that you may inherit all.

 ΛΖ´.  Ει προσεύξασθαι ποθεῖς, ἀπόταξαι τοῖς σύμπασιν, ἵνα τὸ πᾶν κληρονομήσῃς.



 38. PRAY:

[1] first, for purification from the passions;

[2] and second, for deliverance from ignorance [and forgetfulness];

[3] and third, [for deliverance] from all temptation (cf Mt 6:13) and abandonment.

 ΛΗ´.  Προσεύχου

πρότερον περὶ τοῦ καθαρθῆναι τῶν παθῶν,

καὶ δεύτερον τοῦ ῥυσθῆναι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγνωσίας καὶ λήθης

καὶ τρίτον ἀπὸ παντὸς πειρασμοῦ καὶ ἐγκαταλείψεως.



 39. IN your prayer seek only righteousness and the kingdom, namely, virtue and knowledge; and all the rest will be added unto you (Mt 6:33).   

 ΛΘ´.  Μόνην <ζήτει> ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου <τὴν δικαιοσύνην, καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν,> τουτέστι τὴν ἀρετὴν, καὶ τὴν γνῶσιν, <καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ πάντα προστεθήσεταί> σοι.



 40. IT is just to pray not only for your own purification, but also [to pray] for your own [kindred], so as to imitate the angelic way [lit: the angelic mode].

Μ´. Δίκαιον, μὴ μόνον περὶ οἰκείας καθάρσεως προσεύχεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὑπὲρ παντὸς τοῦ ὁμοφύλου, ἵνα ἀγγελικὸν μιμήσῃ τρόπον.



 41. SEE whether you truly stand before God in your prayer; or whether you are a slave to human praise and eagerly hunt for it, using the display of prayer as a cover (cf. Mt 23:5).

ΜΑ´. Ὅρα εἱ ὰληθῶς Θεῷ παρέστηκας ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου, ἢ ἐπαίνῳ ἀνθρώπων ἡττᾶσαι καὶ τούτον θηρᾷν ἐπείγῃ, ὥσπερ ἐπικαλύμματι κεχρημένος τῇ παρατάσει τῆς προσευχῃς.



 42. WHETHER you pray with [the] brothers or by yourself, struggle to pray not [only] in the customary way, but [also] with perception.

ΜΒ´. Εἴτε μετὰ ἀδελφῶν προσεύχῃ, εἴτε κατα μόνας, ἀγώνισαι μὴ ἔθει, ἀλλὰ αἰσθήσει προσεύξασθαι.



 43. SENSATION (=perception) in prayer is concentration (sunnoia), with reverence and compunction and distress of soul, as you confess your failures with silent groans.

ΜΓ´. Αἴσθησις ἐστὶ προσευχῆς σύννοια μετ' εὐλαβείας, καὶ κατανύξεως καὶ ὀδύνης ψυχῆς ἐν εξαγορεύσει πταισμάτων μετὰ στεναγμῶν ἀφώνων.



 44. IF the nous is still staring around at the time of prayer, it does not yet know how to pray as a monk; it is still a secular, decorating the exterior tabernacle (cf. Mt 23:27).

 ΜΔ´. Ἐὰν περιβλέπηται ὁ νοῦς σου ἀκμὴν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ προσευχῆς οὐδέπω ὅτι μοναχὸς προσεύχεται, ἀλλ' ἔτι κοσμικός ἐστι, τὴν ἔξωθεν σκηνὴν καλλωπίζων.



 45. WHEN you pray, keep powerful guard over your memory: in this way, instead of placing its own passions before you, it will, instead, move you to the knowledge that you stand [before God]. For the nous is naturally disarmed [and plundered] by the memory at the time of prayer.

 ΜΕ´.  Προσευχόμενος, τὴν μνήμην σου δυνάμει φύλαττε, ἵνα μὴ τὰ οἰκεῖα παράθηταί σοι, ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὴν γνῶσιν τῆς παραστάσεώς σε κινῇ. Λίαν γὰρ πέφυκεν ὁ νοῦς συλᾶσθαι ὑπ̀ο τῆς μνήμης τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς.



 46. WHEN you are praying the memory brings you fantasies of either:

[1] ancient issues;

[2] or new worries;

[3] or the face of one who has distressed you.

 ΜϚ´. Ἢ παλαιῶν πραγμάτων

φαντασίας ἄγει σοι ἡ μνήμη προσευχομένῳ

ἢ νέας φροντίδας

ἢ πρόσωπον λελυπηκότος.



 47. THE demon is very malignant towards [any] person who prays, and it employs every means to defeat his purpose. It does not cease [1] moving thoughts (noemata) of matters through the memory and [2] stirring up all the passions through the flesh, so as to be able to impede his excellent course and his departure to God.

 ΜΖ´.  Λίαν βασκαίνει ὁ δαίμων ἀνθρώπῳ προσευχομένῳ καὶ πάσῃ χρᾶται μηχανῇ λυμήνασθαι τὸν τούτου σκοπόν. Οὔ παύεται οὖν τὰ νοήματα κινῶν τῶν πραγμάτων διὰ τῆς μνήμης καὶ  ὅλα τὰ πάθη ἀναμοχλεύων διὰ τῆς σαρκός, ἵνα ἐμποδίσαι δυνηθῇ τῷ ἀρίστῳ αὐτοῦ δρόμῳ καὶ τῇ πρὸς Θεὸν ἐκδημίᾳ.



 48. WHEN, despite all his efforts, the malevolent demon is unable to hinder the prayer of one who is earnest, it lets up for a time and then takes its revenge when he  finishes praying. It either:

[1] enflames him with anger, [thus] ruining the excellent state that, through prayer, has been welded together in him;

[2] or it entices him to some irrational pleasure and so commits an outrage on the nous.

 ΜΗ´.Ὅταν πολλὰ ποιήσας ὁ πονηρότατος δαίμων, μὴ δυνηθῆ ἐμποδίσαι τὴν τοῦ σπουδαίου προσευχήν, μικρὸν ὑποχαλᾷ, καὶ μετέπειτα ἀμύνεται αὐτὸν προσευξάμενον.

ἢ γὰρ εἰς ὀργὴν τοῦτον ἐξάψας ἀφανίζει τὴν ἐκ τῆς εὐχῆς συγκροτουμένην ἀρίστην κατάστασιν ἐν ἑαυτῷ,

ἢ πρὸς ἡδονήν τινα ἄλογον ἐρεθίσας ὑβρίζει τὸν νοῦν.



 49. HAVING prayed properly, expect what is improper; and stand courageously to keep guard over your harvest.  Indeed from the beginning you were assigned this: namely, to work and keep guard (Gen. 2:15).  So do not leave your work unguarded after your labor,  otherwise you do not receive any benefit from praying.

 ΜΘ´.  Προσευξάμενος ὡς δεῖ, προσδόκα ἂ μὴ δεῖ, καὶ στῆθι ἀνδρείως, φυλάττων τὸν καρπόν σου· εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐτάγης, <ἐργάζεσθαι, καὶ φυλάττειν,> Μὴ οὖν ἐργασάμενος ἐάσῃς ἀφύλακτον τὸ πονηθέν· εἰ δὲ μήγε, οὐδὲν ὠφέλεῖς προσευχόμενος.



 50. THE entire war between us and the impure demons concerns nothing other than spiritual prayer, because it is very hostile and burdensome to them, while it is salvific and very soothing for us.

 Ν´. Πας ὁ συγκροτούμενος πόλεμος μεταξὺ ἡμῶν τε καὶ τῶν ἀκαθάρτων δαιμόνων οὐ περὶ ἑτέρου γίνεται ἢ περὶ πνευματικῆς προσευχῆς· λίαν γὰρ πολέμιος αὐτοῖς ἐστι καὶ ἐπαχθεστάτη, ἡμῖν δὲ σωτήριος, καὶ προσηνεστάτη.



 51. WHY do the demons wish to activate in us gluttony, sexual immorality, avarice, anger and memory of injury, and all the other passions? It is in order to coarsen the nous through them, so that it is incapable of praying as it ought.  When the passions reign through [our] irrational part, they do not allow [the nous] to move rationally and to seek the Word of God.

ΝΑ´.  Τί βούλεται τοῖς δαίμοσιν ἐνεργεῖν ἐν ἡμῖν γαστριμ  αργίαν, πορνείαν, φιλαργυρίαν, ὀργήν τε καὶ μνησικακίαν, καὶ τὰ λοιπὰ πάθη; ἵνα παχυνθεὶς ἐξ αὐτῶν ὁ νοῦς μὴ δυνηθῇ ὡς δεῖ προσεύξασθαι, Τὰ γὰρ τοῦ ἀλόγου μέρους πάθη ἄρξαντα οὐκ ἐᾷ αὐτὸν λογικῶς κινεῖσθαι καὶ τὸν Θεὸν Λόγον ἐπιζητεῖν.



 52. WE quest for the virtues because of the logoi (inner meanings) of created things, and for these because of the[ir] subsistent Logos; and He customarily appears in the state of prayer.

 ΝΒ´.  Τὰς ἀρετὰς μετερχόμεθα διὰ τοὺς λόγους τῶν γεγονότων, καὶ τούτους διὰ τὸν οὐσιωδη λόγον· οὗτος δὲ ἐν τῇ καταστάσει τῆς προσευχῆς ἀναφαίνεσθαι εἴωθε.



 53. THE state of prayer is a habit[ual condition] free from passion (apathēs) that elevates to the highest rapture of loving (eros) the carefully-studious and spiritual nous.

 ΝΓ´.  Κατάστασίς ἐστι προσευχῆς ἕξις ἀπαθὴς, ἔρωτι ἀκροτάτῳ εἰς ὕψος νοητὸν ἁρπάζουσα τὸν φιλόσοφον καὶ πνευματικὸν νοῦν.



 54. IT is not only indignation (thumos) and desire, (epithumia) that must be ruled by one who wishes to pray truly: one must also be free of every impassioned thought (noema).

 ΝΔ´.  Οὐ μόνον θυμοῦ, καὶ ἐπιθυμίας δεῖ ἄρχειν τὸν ἀληθῶς προσεύξασθαι βουλόμενον, ἄλλα καὶ ἐκτος νοήματος ὲμπαθοῦς γενέσθαι.



 55. ONE who loves God always converses with him as Father, turning away every impassioned thought (noema).

 ΝΕ´.  Ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὸν Θεὸν, τούτῳ ὡς Πατρὶ ἀεὶ συνομιλεῖ, ἀποστρεφόμενος πᾶν νόημα ἐμπαθές.



 56. THE attainment of freedom from passion (apatheia) does not [necessarily mean] one is already truly praying: it is possible to have simple thoughts (noemata), but be taken up with [lit distracted by] [investigating] their stories, and thus still be far from God.

 ΝϚ´.  Οὐκ ὁ ἀπαθείας τετυχηκὼς, ἤδη καὶ προσεύχεται ἀληθῶς· δύναται γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ψιλοῖς νοήμασι εἶναι και ἐν ταῖς ἰστορίαις αὐτῶν περισπᾶσθαι καὶ μακρὰν ἀπέχειν ἀπὸ Θεοῦ.



 57. EVEN though the nous is not spending time on simple thoughts (noemata) of issues, it has not thereby already reached the place of prayer. For it may be contemplating issues, involved in idly meditating on their logoi (inner meanings).  And even if these are simple words, since they are contemplations of issues they stamp [their] impression on the nous, and leading it far away from God.

 ΝΖ´.  Οὐκ ἂν ὅτε μὴ χρονίζῃ ὁ νους ἐν τοῖς ψιλοῖς νοήμασι τῶν πραγμάτων ἤδη καὶ προσευχῆς κατείληφε τόπον· δύναται γὰρ ἐν τῇ θεωρίᾳ εἶναι τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ ἐν τοῖς λόγοις αὐτῶν ἀδολεσχεῖν, ἅπερ, εἰ καὶ ψιλὰ ῥήματά εἰσιν, αλλ' ὡς πραγμάτων ὄντα θεωρήματα, τυποῦσι τὸν νοῦν, καὶ μακρὰν ἀπάγουσιν ἀπὸ Θεοῦ.



 58. EVEN if the nous [rises] above the contemplation of corporeal natures, it has still not beheld the perfect place of God: for it may be involved in the knowledge of noetic (intelligible) beings [i.e angels] and thus multiform by [focusing] on the[ir multiplicity].

 ΝΗ´.  Κἂν ὑπὲρ τὴν θεωρίαν τῆς σωματικῆς φύσεως ὁ νοῦς γένηται, οὕπω τέλεον τὸν τοῦ Θεου τόπον ἐθεάσατο· δύναται γὰρ ἐν τῇ τῶν νοητῶν εἶναι γνώσει καὶ ποικίλλεσθαι πρὸς αὐτήν.



 59. IF you wish to pray, you need God who gives prayer to the one who prays (1Sam 2:9). Therefore call upon him saying, Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come (Mt. 6:9-10), that is to say, your Holy Spirit and your only-begotten Son.  For He taught you this by saying, the Father is worshipped in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23-4).

 ΝΘ´.  Εἰ προσεύξασθαι βούλει, Θεοῦ χρεία τοῦ <διδόντος εὐχὴν τῷ εὐχομένῳ.> Οὐκοῦν ἐπικαλοῦ αὐτὸν λέγων· <'Αγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου, ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου,> τουτέστι τὸ ἅγιον σου Πνεῦμα καὶ ὁ μονογενής σου Υἱός. Οὕτω γὰρ καὶ ἐδίδαξε λέγων <ἐν Πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ προσκυνεῖσθαι τὸν Πατέρα.>



 60. THE one praying in spirit and truth (Jn 4:23-4) no longer honors the Creator because of [His] creatures, but instead praises Him for His own sake.

 Ξ´. Ὁ <ἐν Πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ> προσευχόμενος οὐκ έτι ἐκ τῶν κτισμάτων τὸν Δημιουργὸν γεραίρει, ἀλλ' ἐξ αυτοῦ αὐτὸν ἀνυμνεῖ.



 61. IF you are a theologian, you pray truly; and if you pray truly, you are a theologian.

 ΞΑ´.  Εἰ θεολόγος εἶ, προσεύξῃ ἀληθῶς· καὶ εἰ άληθῶς προσεύχῃ, θεολόγος ἐ̂σῃ.



 62. WHEN your nous in great yearning for God gradually withdraws, so to speak, from the flesh; and when it deflects all thoughts (noemata) that come from sensation, or memory or temperament, having become full of reverence and joy, then you may believe it has drawn near the borders of prayer.

 ΞΒ´. Ὅταν ὁ νοῦς σου τῷ πολλῷ πρὸς Θεὸν πόθῳ κατὰ μικρὸν οἷον ὑπαναχωρῇ τῆς σαρκὸ, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐξ αἰσθήσεως ἢ μνήμης ἢ κράσεως νοήματα ἀποστρέφηται, εὐλαβείας ὁμοῦ, καὶ χαρᾶς ἐμπλεως γενόμενος, τότε νόμιζε ἠγγικέναι, ὁροις προσευχῆς.



 63. THE Holy Spirit, who sympathizes with our weakness (Rom. 8:26), repeatedly visits us even when we are impure; and, if he only finds the nous loving truth [and] praying to, he lights upon [and disposes] it, dispersing the whole battle-array of [tempting-] thoughts (logismoi) and concepts (noemata) circling around it, encouraging it on to the [rapturous] love (eros) of spiritual prayer.

 ΞΓ´.  <Τὸ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα> συμπάσχον <τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ ἀσθενίᾳ> καὶ ἀκαθάρτοις οὖσιν ἐπιφοιτᾷ ἡμῖν· καὶ ἐὰν εὕροι τὸν νοῦν μόνον φιλαλήθως αὐτῷ προσευχόμενον, ἐπιβαίνει αὐτῳ· καὶ ἅπασαν τὴν κυκλοῦσαν αὐτὸν τῷν λογισμῶν ἢ νοημάτων φάλαγγα, ἐξαφανίζει, προτρεπόμενον αὐτὸν εἰς ἔρωτα πνευματικῆς προσευχῆς.



 64. THE others implant [tempting-]thoughts (logismoi), ideas (noemata), or contemplations in the nous by affecting the body. God, however, does the opposite: he himself lights upon [and disposes] the nous and places within it knowledge as he wishes; and through the nous he soothes the body’s disharmony.

 ΞΔ´.  Οἱ μὲν λοιποὶ διὰ τῆς ἀλλοιώσεως τοῦ σώματος ἐμποιοῦσι τῷ νῷ λογισμοὺς ἢ νοήματα ἢ θεωρήματα·  ὀ δὲ γε θεὸς τοὺναντίον δρᾳ· αὐτῷ τῷ νῷ ἐπιβαίνων, ἐντίθησιν αὐτῷ γνῶσιν ὧν βούλεται καὶ διὰ τοῦ νοῦ τὴν ἀκρασίαν τοῦ σώματος κατευνάζει.



 65. NO one yearning (erô) for true prayer who also becomes angry or remembers injuries can be anything but insane: it is  like wishing for good eyesight while tearing at your own eyes

 ΞΕ´.  Οὐδεὶς ἐρῶν ἀληθοῦς προσευχῆς, καὶ ὀργιζόμενος, ἢ μνησικακῶν ἐκτός ἐστι παραπληξίας· ὅμοιος γάρ ἐστι τῷ ὀξυωπεῖν θέλοντι, καὶ τοὺς οἰκείους ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐκταράττοντι.



 66. IF you long to pray, do none of the things that oppose prayer, so that God will draw near and travel with you on [your] way (Lk 24:15).

 ΞϚ´.  Εἰ προσεύξασθαι ποθεῖς, μηδὲν τῶν ἐναντιουμένων τῇ προσευχῇ πρᾶττε, ἵνα ὁ Θεὸς <ἐγγίσας συμπορεύσηταί> σοι.



 67. DO not give [any] shape to the Divine in yourself when you pray, nor should you permit any form to stamp an impression on your nous: instead, approach immaterially what is immaterial; and you will understand.

 ΞΖ´.  Μὴ σχημτίζῃς τὸ Θεῖον ἐν ἑαυτῷ προσευχόμενος, μηδὲ προς μορφήν τινα συγχωρήσῃς τυπωθῆναι σου τὸν νοῦν, ἀλλὰ ἄϋλος τῷ ἀΰλῳ πρόσιθι καὶ συνή́σεις.



 68.  GUARD against the snares of the enemies. For sometimes while you are praying purely and undisturbed, suddenly there stands before you some strange and alien form to lead [you] astray into conceit, [by] rashly localizing the Deity in order to persuade you that the Deity is quantifiable: whereas the Deity is not quantifiable and is without shape.

 ΞΕ´.  Φυλάττου τὰς παγίδας τῶν ἐναντίων· γίνεται γὰρ ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαί σε καθαρῶς καὶ ἀταράχως ἀθρόως ἐπιστῆναί σοι μορφὴν τινα ξένην καὶ ἀλλόφυλον, πρὸς τὸ εἰς οἴησιν ἀπαγαγεῖν τοπάζοντα τὸ θεῖον εἰκῆ̂, ἵνα τὸ ἀθρόως ἐκκαλυφθέν σοι ποσὸν, τὸ θεῖον εἶναι πείσῃ· ἄποσον δὲ τὸ θεῖον καὶ ἀσχημάτιστον.



69. WHEN the spiteful demon is unable to move  the memory during prayer, he strikes out against the body’s temperament to create some strange fantasy in the nous, and [thus] shape it.  And [the nous] will easily yield to its influence, because it is used to dealing in thoughts (noemata); so when it was pressing on eagerly to immaterial and formless knowledge, it comes to be deceived into accepting smoke instead of light.

 ΞΘ´. Ὅταν μὴ δυνηθῇ τὴν μνήμην κινῆσαι ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ ὁ φθονερὸς δαίμων, τότε τὴν κρᾶσιν τοῦ σώματος ἐκβιάζεται εἰς τὸ ποιῆσαι ξένην τινὰ φαντασίαν τῷ νῷ καὶ μορφῶσαι αὐτον.  Ὁ δὲ ἔθος ἔχων ἐν νοήμασι συνεῖναι ῥᾳδίως κάμφεται· καὶ πρὸς ἄϋ̈λον, καὶ ἀνείδεον γνῶσιν ἐπειγόμενος ἀπατᾶται, καπνὸν ἀντὶ φωτὸς κατέχων.



70. STAND on your guard, (Hab 2:1) protecting your nous from thoughts (noemata) at the time of prayer: and take your stand on your own [inner] quiet, so that He who suffers with the ignorant (cf. Heb 5:2) will manifest Himself to you too; then you will receive a most glorious gift of prayer.

 Ο´.  <Στῆθι ἐπὶ τῆς φυλακῆς σου,> φυλάττων τὸν νοῦν σου ἀπὸ νοημάτων κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς καὶ στῆναι ἐπὶ τῇ οἰκείᾳ ἠρεμίᾳ, ἵνα ὁ συμπάσχων τοῖς ἀγνοοῦσι καὶ σοὶ ἐπιφοιτήσῃ· καὶ τότε λήψῃ δῶρον προσευχῆς εὐκλεέστατον.



71. YOU are not able to pray purely if you are enmeshed in material affairs and shaken about by constant cares, because prayer is [the] putting aside of thoughts (noemata).

 ΟΑ´. Οὐ δυνήσῃ προσεύξασθαι καθαρῶς, τράγμασι συμπλεκόμενος ὑλικοῖς καὶ φροντίσι συνεχέσι δονούμενος· προσευχὴ γάρ ἐστιν ἀπόθεσις νοημάτων.



72. IT is not possible one who is chained to run; nor is it possible for the nous to see the place of spiritual prayer while enslaved to passions, for it is carried to and fro by  impassioned thought (noemata) and can have no firm standing place.

 ΟΒ´. Οὐ δύναται δεδεμένος δραμεῖν οὐδὲ νοῦς πάθει δουλεύων προσευχῆς πνευματικῆς τόπον ἰδεῖν· ἕλκεται γὰρ, καὶ περιφέρεται ἐκ τοῦ ἐμπαθοῦς νοήματος καὶ οὐχ ἔξει στάσιν ἄκλονον.



73. ONCE the nous is praying purely unwaveringly, and truly, [completely] apart from the [passions], the demons no longer insinuate themselves from the left, but from the right.  They set before it the glory of God and shape it in the form of things beloved by the senses, so that [the nous] will believe it has perfectly achieved its goal concerning prayer. An admirable and ascetical (praktikos) man explained that this is caused by the passion of vainglory and by the demon that attaches itself to [a particular] place in the brain and makes the veins pulsate.

 ΟΓ´. Ἐπὰν καθαρῶς λοιπὸν καὶ ἀπαθῶς προσεύχηται ὁ νοῦς, το τηνικαῦτα, οὐκ ἔτι ἐκ τῶν ἀριστερῶν ἑπέρχονται αὐτῷ οἱ δαίμονες, ἀλλ' ἐκ τῶν δεξιῶν· ὑποτίθενται γὰρ αὐτῷ δόξαν Θεοῦ καὶ σχηματισμόν τινα τῶν τῇ αἰσθήσει φίλων, ὡς δοκεῖν τέλεον τετεῦχθαι αὐτὸν τοῦ περὶ προσευχῆς σκοποῦ.  Τοῦτο δὲ, ἔφρασε πρακτικὸς ἀνήρ ὑπὸ τοῦ τῆς κενοδοξίας πάθους γίνεσθαι καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ δαίμονος τοῦ ἁπτομένου τοῦ κατὰ τὸν ἐγκέφαλον τόπου ἐν ταῖς φλεψὶ πάλλοντος.



74. I BELIEVE the demon touches that place [thus] manipulating the light surrounding the nous however he wishes; and in this way the passion of vainglory produces a [tempting-]thought (logismos) that shapes the nous so that it will foolishly [try to] localize the divine, essential knowledge.  This sort of person is not troubled by carnal and impure passions; rather he seems to stand purely before [God].  So he presumes there is no longer any opposing energy at work within him: and therefore he assumes he sees a divine apparition; one that [actually] comes from the demon who very cunningly manipulates by means of the brain the light conjoined [to the nous], thus shaping [the nous], as we have said.

 [On the light of the nous and its possible origins: cf. KG 1.35, 1.74; 1.81, 2.29; 3.44, 3.52, 5.15;  Sch.258 on Prov. 23.22 ; Prak. 64; Gnost. 45Prayer 75; Thoughts/Peri.Log. 17, 39, 40, 42; Skem. 2, 42325, 27; Letter 39.5; Antiret. 6.16.]

 ΟΔ´. Οἶμαι τὸν δαίμονα ἐφαπτόμενον τοῦ εἰρημένου τόπου τὸ περὶ τὸν νοῦν φῶς τρέπειν καθὼς βούλεται· καὶ οὕτως κινεῖσθαι τὸ τῆς κενοδοξίας πάθος εὶς λογισμὸν μορφοῦντα τὸν νοῦν κοῦφογνωμόνως πρὸς τὸν τοπασμὸν θείας καὶ οὐσιώδους γνώσεως· μὴ ὀχλούμενος δὲ ὁ τοιοῦτος ὑπὸ σαρκικῶν, καὶ ἀκαθάρτων παθῶν, ἀλλὰ καθαρῶς δῆθεν παρεστώς, δοκεῖ μηκέτι ἐνέργειάν τινα ἐναντίαν γίνεσθαι ἐν ἑαυτῳ· ὃθεν ὑποπτεύει θεῖαν εἷναι ἐπιθάνειαν τὴν γενομένην αὐτῷ ὑπὸ τοῦ δαίμονος δεινότητι λίαν χρωμένου καὶ διὰ τοῦ ἐγκεφάλου τὸ συνεζευγμένον φῶς ἀλλοιοῦντος καὶ μορφοῦ̂ντος αὐτὸν καθῶς προέφαμεν.



75. THE angel of God comes and with a single word makes all the opposing activity within us cease, and moves the light of the nous to undeviating activity.  [On the light of the nous and its possible origins: cf. KG 1.35, 1.74; 1.81, 2.29; 3.44, 3.52, 5.15; Sch.258 on Prov. 23.22 ; Prak. 64; Gnost. 45Prayer 75; Thoughts/Peri.Log. 17, 39, 40, 42; Skem. 2, 42325, 27; Letter 39.5; Antiret. 6.16.]

 ΟΕ´.  Ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄγγελος ἐπιστὰς λόγῳ μόνῳ ἅπασαν τὴν ἀντικειμένην ἐνέργειαν παύει ἐξ ἡμῶν, καὶ κινεῖ τὸ φῶς τοῦ νοῦ ἀπλανῶς ἐνεργεῖν.



76. THE saying in the Apocalypse that the angel takes incense to add to the prayers of the saints (Rev 8:3) refers, I believe, to the grace that is effected by the angel. He implants knowledge of true prayer, so that from then on the nous stands without any agitation  from acedia or negligence.

 ΟϚ´. Τὸ λέγεἶν ἐν τῃἈποκαλύψει κομίζεσθαι τὸν ἄγγελον <θυμίαμα ἵνα δῷ τὰς προσευχὰς τῶν ἁγίων,> οἰμαι τὴν χάριν εἶναι ταύτην διὰ τοῦ ἀγγέλου ἐνεργουμένην· γνῶσιν γὰρ ἐμποιεῖ τῆς ἀληθοῦς προσευχῆς, ὥστε ἑστάναι λοιπὸν ἐκτὸς παντὸς κλόνου, ἀκηδίας τε καὶ ὀλιγωρίας τὸν νοῦν.



77. THE bowls of incense are said to be the the prayers of the saints that the twenty-four elders offered (Rev 5:8)   ‘Bowl’ (phialên) is understood to mean the friendship  (philian) with God or that perfect and spiritual love in which prayer is effected in Spirit and Truth.

ΟΣ´. <Αἱ φιάλαι τῶν θυμιαμάτων αἱ προσευχαὶ> εἶναι λέγονται <τῶν ἁγίων,> ἃς <οἱ εἰκοσιτέσσαρες πρεσβύτεροι ἐπιφέροντο φιάλην δὲ ὑποληπτέον τὴν πρὸς Θεὸν φιλίαν, ἤτοι τὴν τελείαν καὶ πνευματικὴν ἀγάπην, ἐν ᾗ ἡ προσευχὴ ἐνεργεῖται <ἐν Πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ.>



78. WHEN you imagine you no longer need tears for sins in your prayer on account of sin, examine how far you have moved from God, when you are bound to always be in him; and you will weep even more fervently.

 ΟΗ´. Ὅταν  δόξῃς μὴ δεῖσθαι δακρύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου δι' ἁμαρτίας, σκόπει πόσον ἀφεστηκας Θεοῦ, ὀφείλων ἐν αὐτῷ εἶναι διαπαντὸς, καὶ θερμότερον δακρύσεις.



79. YES, when you recognize your  measure, you will be take pleasure in mourning, calling yourself, like Isaiah, wretched, like an unclean person  with unclean lips, living in the midst of a people similarly [unclean] (Is 6:5) So how in the face of this can you stand boldly before the Lord Sabbaoth?.

ΟΘ´.  Ναὶ μὴν ἐπιγινώσκων τὰ μέτρα σου, ἥδέως πενθήσεις ταλανίζων ἑαυτὸν κατὰ τὸν Ἡσαΐαν· <Πῶς ἀκάθαρτος> ὢν, καὶ καὶ <ἐν μέσῳ λαοῦ> τοιούτου <ὑπάρχων,> τουτέστιν ἐναντίων,  τολμᾷς τῷ <Κυρίῳ Σαβαὼθ> παρεστάναι.



80. IF you pray truly, you will find very great assurance and angels will accompany you as they did Daniel (Dan 7:6); and they will enlighten you concerning the logoi of what has come into being.

Π´. Ἐὰν ἀληθῶς προσεύχῃ, πολλὴν πληροφορίαν εὑρήσεις, καὶ ἄγγελοι συνελεύσονταί σοι ὡς καὶ τῷ Δανιὴλ καὶ τοὺς λόγους τῶν γινομένων φωτιοῦσι σε.



81. KNOW that the holy angels urge us to pray and stand with us, rejoicing and praying for us.  (KG 3.62 and 3.84)

ΠΑ´. Γίνωσκε, ὅτιπερ οἱ ἅγιοι ἄγγελοι προτρέπονται ἡμᾶς εἰς προσευχὴν, καὶ συμπαρίστανται ἡμῖν χαίροντες ἅμα καὶ προσευχόμενοι ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν.

But if we are negligent and [willingly] receive opposing [tempting-] thoughts (logismoi), we greatly provoke them: since although they struggle for us, we are not willing even to supplicate God on our behalf, treating our own worship with contempt and abandoning their Lord and God to consort with unclean demons

 Ἐὰν οὖν ἀμελήσωμεν καὶ δεξώμεθα λογισμοὺς ἐναντίους, λίαν παροξύνομεν αὐτοὺς, ὅτιπερ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀγωνίζονται τοσοῦτον, ἡμεῖς δε οὐδὲ ὑπὲρ ἑαυτῶν βουλόμεθα ἱκετεῦσαι τὸν Θεόν, ἀλλὰ καταφρονοῦντες τῆς ἑαὐτῶν λειτουργίας καὶ τὸν τούτων Δεσπότην καὶ Θεὸν καταλιμπάνοντες δαίμοσιν ἀκαθάρτοις ἐντυγχάνομεν.



82. PRAY:

[1] gently and [2] undisturbed,


[1] with understanding (Ps. 46:8) and
[2] good rhythm;

then you will be like the young eagle borne aloft in the heights.

ΠΒ´.  Προσεύχου


καὶ ἀταράχως

και <ψάλλε


καὶ εὐρύθμως,

καὶ ἔσῃ ὡς νεοσσὸς ἀετοῦ ἐν ὕψει αἰρόμενος.



83. PSALMODY calms the passions and puts to rest the body’s disharmony;

PRAYER arouses the nous to activate its own proper activity.

 ΠΓ´. Ἡ μὲν ψαλμῳδία τὰ πάθη κατευνάζει καὶ τὴν ἀκρασίαν τοῦ σώματος ἠρεμεῖν ἀπεργάζεται·

ἡ δὲ προσευχὴ ἐνεργεῖν παρασκευάζει τὸν νοῦν τὴν ἰδίαν ἐνέργειαν.



84. PRAYER is the power befitting the dignity of the nous; it is the nous’ highest and purest power and function.

 ΠΔ´. Προσευχὴ ἐστὶ πρέπουσα ἐνέργεια τῇ ἀξίᾳ τοῦ νου,̂ ἤτοι ἡ κρείττων καὶ εἰλικρινὴς ἐνέργεια αὐτου καὶ χρῆσις.



85. PSALMODY pertains to multiform wisdom; (Eph 3:10)

PRAYER is the prelude to immaterial and uniform knowledge.

 ΠΕ´.Ἡ μὲν ψαλμῳδία <τῆς ποικίλης σοφίας> ἐστὶν·

ἡ δὲ προσευχὴ προοίμιόν ἐστι τῆς ἀΰλου καὶ αποικίλου γνώσεως.



86. KNOWLEDGE has great beauty: it is the co-worker of prayer, awakening the intellectual power of the intellect to contemplation of divine knowledge. Cf.

 ΠϚ´. Ἡ γνῶσις, καλλίστη ἐστιν· συνεργὸς γάρ ἐστι τῆς προσευχῆς, τὴν νοερὰν δύναμιν τοῦ νοῦ διυπνίζουσα πρὸς θεωρίαν τῆς θείας γνώσεως.



87. IF you have not [yet] received the gift of PRAYER or PSALMODY, persevere and you will receive it.

 ΠΣ´. Εἰ οὔπω ἔλαβες χάρισμα προσευχῆς ἢ ψαλμῳδίας, ἐφέδρευσον καὶ λήψῃ.



88. HE told them a parable so that they would pray always and not lose heart (Lk 18:1). So neither lose heart nor be discouraged in the meantime if you do not receive [i.e. the gift of prayer or psalmody]; you will receive it later. And in the parable he continued, Even if I  do not fear God or respect man, still, since this woman is a nuisance, I will judge her case.  So too will God similarly avenge those who cry out to him night and day, and he will do it soon (Lk 18:4-8).  So be of good cheer and persevere eagerly in holy prayer.

 ΠΗ´. <Ε)́λεγε δὲ αὐτοῖς καὶ παραβολὴν,> φησίν, <πρὸς τὸ δεῖν αὐτοὺς πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι, καὶ μὴ ἐκκακεῖν.> Οὐκοῦν μὴ ἐκκάκει μηδὲ ἀθύμει ὡς μὴ λαβών· λήψῃ γὰρ ὕστερον ἐπήγαγε γὰρ ὕστερον τῇ παραβολῇ, τό· < Εἰ καὶ Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι, καὶ ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἐντρέπομαι, ἀλλά γε διὰ τὸ κόπους μοι παρέχειν τὴν γυναῖκα, ποιήσω τὴν κρισίν αὐτῆς.> Οὕτως οὖν καὶ <ὁ Θεὸς ποιήσει τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν βοώντων προς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐν τάχει.> Εὐθύμει τοιγαροῦν προσκαρτερῶν ἐμπόνως ἐν τῇ ἁγιᾳ προσευχῇ.



89.  YOU should not wish for things that concern you to take place as seems good to you, but rather as is pleasing to God. Then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer.

 ΠQ´.  Μὴ θέλε ὥς σοι δοκεῖ, ἀλλ' ὡς Θεῷ ἀρέσκει γενέσθαι τὰ κατὰ σὲ, καὶ ἔσῃ ἀτάραχος, καὶ εὐχάριστος ἐν προσευχῇ σου.



90. EVEN if you suppose yourself to be with God, guard against the demon of sexual immorality, for he is very deceitful and extremely vengeful; and he wants to be quicker than the movement and watchfulness of your nous, so that he can tear it away from God, while it stands beside Him in reverence and awe.

 Ϟ´. Κἂν μετὰ Θεοῦ δοκῇς εἶναι, φυλάττου τῆς πορνείας δαίμονα· λίαν γάρ ἐστιν ἀπατεὼν, καὶ φθονερώτατος, καὶ βούλεται ὀξύτερος εἶναι τῆς κινήσεως καὶ νήψεως του νοός σου, ὡς καὶ ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ἀφισπᾷν αὐτὸν παρεστῶτα αὐτῷ μετ' εύλαβείας, καὶ φόβου.s



91. If you are taking care of [your] prayer, prepare for invasions from the demons and patiently endure their scourging.  They will come upon you like [wild] beasts and injure your whole body.

 ϞΑ´. Ἐὰν προσευχῆς ἐπιμελῇ, ἑτοιμάζου πρὸς ἐπαγωγὰς δαιμόνων, καὶ καρτερῶς τὰς παρ' αὐτῶν μάστιγας ὑπόμενε· ὡς γὰρ θῆρες ἄγριοι ἐπελεύσονταί σοι, καὶ ἅπαν σου κακώσουσι τὸ σῶμα.



92. PREPARE yourself like a skilled wrestler not to be confused even if you suddenly see some apparition, and not to be upset even if you see a sword drawn against you or a light passing before your eyes, and not become agitated, even if you see some horrible, bloody shape; do not let your soul by completely defeated. Instead, stand firm, making your good confession of faith (1 Tim. 6:12), and you will easily look upon your enemies (Ps. 117:7).

 ϞΒ´. Παρασκευάζου ὡς ἔμπειρος ἀγωνιστὴς, κἂν ἀθρόως ἴδῃς φαντασίαν, μὴ κλονεῖσθαι· κἂν ῥομφαίαν κατὰ σου ἐσπασμένην ἢ λαμπάδα παρατρέχουσάν σου τὴν ὄψιν μή ταράττεσθαι· κἂν μορφήν τινα ἀηδῆ καὶ αἱματώδη, μήτε ὅλως καταπίπτειν τῇ ψυχῇ. Ἀλλὰ στῆθι <ὁμολογῶν τὴν καλήν σου ὁμολογίαν,> καὶ ῥᾷον <ἐποψῃ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου.>



93. If you endure painful things, you will also obtain joyful ones; and one who is patient with unpleasant things will not lack a share in what is pleasant.

 ϞΓ´. Ὁ τὰ ἀλγεινὰ ὑποφέρων, καὶ τῶν περιχαρῶν τεύξεται· καὶ ὁ ἐν τοῖς ἀηδέσι καρτερῶν, τῶν ἡδέων οὐκ ἀμοιρήσει.



 94. SEE that the evil demons do not deceive you with some vision: be deeply thoughtful, turn to prayer, and call upon God to enlighten you himself as to whether the idea (noema) comes from him; or if not, to quickly expel the deception from you.  And take courage: the dogs will not stand against you, if you are fiery* in wielding the staff of supplication to God against them.  For they will instantly be driven far away, invisibly and secretly flogged by the power of God.

 ϞΔ´. Ὅρα μή σε ἀπατήσωσι διά τινος ὀπτασίας οἱ πονηροὶ δαίμονες· ἀλλὰ γίνου σύννους, τρεπόμενος εἰς εὐχὴν καὶ παρακάλει τὸν Θεόν· ἵνα εἰ μὲν ἐξ αὐτοῦ ἐστι τὸ νόημα, αὐτός σε φωτίσῃ· εἰ δὲ μήγε, τὸ τάχος τὸν πλάνον ἀπελάσῃ ἐκ σοῦ. Καὶ θάρσει, ὡς οὐ στήσονται οἱ κύνες, σοῦ ἐμπύρως τῇ βακτηρίᾳ τῆς πρὸς Θεὸν ἐντεύξεως κεχρημένου· εὐθέως γάρ, ἀοράτως καὶ ἀφανῶς Θεοῦ δυνάμει μαστιζόμενοι, μακρὰν ἐλασθήσονται.

    * fiery prayer De Orat.111; cf. Cassian Conf 9.15]  



95. IT is [only] just that you not be ignorant of this deceit: at times the demons divide themselves [into two groups], and if you appear to be calling for help, the second [group] enters arrayed as angels and drives away the first [group]  that is assailing you, in order to make you conclude that they are holy angels.

 ϞΕ´.  Δίκαιόν ἐστι μηδὲ τὸν δόλον τοῦτόν σε ἀγνοεῖν· ὅτι ἐν καιρῳ μερίζονται ἑαυτοὺς οἱ δαίμονες, καὶ εἰ δόξης βοήθειαν ἐπιζητεῖν, εἰσίασιν οἱ λοιποὶ ἐν σχήμασιν ἀγγελικοῖς τοὺς πρώτους ἀπελαύνοντες, πρὸς τὸ σε ἐξαπατηθῆναι ἐξ αὐτῶν τῇ γνώμῃ ὡς δῆθεν ἁγίων ὄντων ἀγγέλων.



96.   TAKE care to acquire great humility and courage, and no demonic spite will accost your soul and ‘the scourge will not draw near your tent, for God will give his angels charge over you to guard you’ (Ps. 90:10-11), and unseen they will chase away from you the whole enemy - maneuver.

 ϞϚ´.  Ταπεινοφροσύνης πολλῆς ἐπιμέλησαι καὶ ἀνδρείας, καὶ οὐ μή σου ἐπήρεια δαιμόνων καθάψηται τῆς ψυχῆς· <καὶ μάστιξ οὐκ ἐγγιεῖ τῷ σκηνώματί σου, ὅτι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ ὁ θεὸς τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε,> καὶ ἀφανῶς ἄπασαν τὴν ἀντικειμένην ἐνέργειαν ἀποδιώξουσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ.



97.  NOISES, crashes, voices, and tortured [screams] will he hear - the  person carefully attending to pure prayer: but he will not cave in or surrender his rationality, saying to God, ‘I will not fear evil things, for you are with me,’ (Ps. 22:4) and other similar [verses].

 ϞϚ´. Ψόφους μὲν καὶ κτύπους καὶ φωνὰς καὶ αἰκισμοὺς ἐκ δαιμόνων ἀκούσεται ὁ καθαρᾶς ἐπιμελούμενος προσευχῆς, ἀλλ' οὐ συμπεσεῖται οὐδὲ προδώσει τὸν λογισμὸν, λέγων πρὸς τὸν Θεόν· <Οὐ φοβηθήσομαι κακὰ, ὅτι σὺ μετ' ἐμοῦ εἶ·> καὶ τὰ ὅμοια.



98. IN the times of these sorts of temptations employ brief, intense prayer.

 ϞΗ´. Ἐν καιρῷ τῶν τοιούτων πειρασμῶν, βραχείᾳ καὶ ἐπιτεταμένῃ προσευχῇ κέχρησο.



99. If the demons threaten to suddenly appear to you out of the air to shock you and seize your nous or to injure your flesh like [wild] beasts, do not let them dismay you, take no thought of their threats.  They are tempting you to fear them, to see whether you bother about them or regard them with total contempt.

 ϞQ´. Ἐὰν ἀπειλήσωσί σοι οἱ δαίμονες ἀθρόως ἐκ τοῦ ἀέρος προφαίνεσθαι καὶ ἐκπλήττειν σε, καὶ διαρπάζειν τὸν νοῦν σου ἢ ὡς θῆρες ἀδικεῖν τὴν σάρκα σου, μὴ πτοηθῇς αὐτοὺς μηδὲ ὅλως φροντίσῃς τῆς τούτων ἀπειλῆς· ἐκφοβοῦσι γάρ σε πειράζοντες εἰ ἄρα προσέχεις αὐτοῖς εἰ τέλειον αὐτῶν κατεφρόνησας.



100. IF it is God Almighty, creator of the universe, provident [administrator] of all, on Whom you attend in prayer,  why do you stand before Him so irrationally as to circumvent by the impassable fear of him, while [yet] alarmed by mosquitoes and dung-beetles?  Have you not heard that it said, ‘The Lord your God shall you fear (Deut. 6:13) and again, ‘At Whom all things fear and tremble, before the Face of his power (Dan. 6:27 [Theodotion] + Joel 2:11?)?

Ρ´. Εἰ Θεῷ παντοκράτορι, καὶ δημιουργῷ, καὶ προνοητῇ τοῦ παντὸς παρίστασαι ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου, τιδήποτε οὕτως ἀλόγως αὐτῷ παρέστηκας, ὡς παρέντα τὸν ἀνυπέρβλητον αὐτοῦ φόβον κώνωπας καὶ κανθάρους δεδίττεσθαι; ἢ οὐκ ἤκουσας τοῦ λέγοντος· <Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου φοβηθήσῃ·> καὶ πάλιν· <ὃν φρίττει καὶ τρέμει τὰ πάντα ἀπὸ προσώπου τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ> καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς.



101. JUST as bread is nourishment for the body and virtue [is nourishment] for the soul, so spiritual prayer is the nourishment for the nous.

ΡΑ´.Ὥσπερ ἄρτος τροφή ἐστι τῷ σώματι καὶ ἡ ἀρετὴ τῇ ψυχῇ, οὕτω καὶ τοῦ̂ νοῦ ἡ πνευματικὴ προσευχὴ τροφὴ ὑπάρχει.



102. PRAY, not like the Pharisee, but like the publican in the holy place of prayer, so that you too may be justified by God (Lk 18:10-14).

ΡΒ´.  Μὴ φαρισαϊκῶς, ἀλλὰ τελωνικῶς προσεύχου ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τόπῳ τῆς προσευχῆς, ἵνα καὶ σὺ δικαιωθῇς ὑπὸ θεοῦ.



103. STRUGGLE not to curse anyone in your prayer, so as not to make your prayer disgusting, [thus] destroying what you are building up.

ΡΓ´. Ἀγωνίζου μὴ κατεύξασθαί τινος ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου, ἴνα μὴ ἃ οἰκοδομεῖς καταλύσῃς, βδελυκτὴν ποιῶν τὴν προσευχήν σου.



104. THE debtor who owed ten thousand talents (cf Mat 18:23-35) ought to instruct you: if you do not forgive your debtor, you yourself will not win forgiveness (Mat 6:15).  For it says, He gave him over to the torturers (Mat 18:34).

ΡΔ´. Ὁ χρεωφειλέτης τῶν μυρίων ταλάντων παιδευέτω σε· ὡς, εἰ μὴ ἀφήσῃς τῷ ὀφειλέτῃ, οὐδὲ αὐτὸς τεύξῃ τῆς ἀφέσεως· <παρέδωκε γὰρ, φησὶν, αὐτὸν τοῖς βασανισταῖς.>



105. DISMISS the necessities of the body during your attendance at prayer, so that you do not lose the great benefit of your prayer through the bite of a flea, a louse a mosquito or a carrion-fly.

ΡΕ´.  Παραπέμπου τὰς ἀνάγκας τοῦ σώματος, ἐν τῇ παραστάσει τῆς προσευχῆς σου, ἵνα μὴ νυττόμενος ὑπὸ ψύλλης, ἢ φθειρὸς ἢ κώνωπος, ἢ μυίας, ζημιωθῇς τὸ μέγιστον κέρδος τῆς προσευχῆς σου.



106.  IT has come to us how, when one of the holy ones was praying, the evil one was so opposed to him that, as soon as [the holy one] raised his hands, [the evil one] changed his shape into that of a lion and, raising his front paws up, fixed his claws in both sides of the muscles of the combatant's thighs and would not move away until [the holy one] lowered his hands.  However he did not let them down before completing his customary prayers.

ΡϚ´. ᾿̂Ελθεν εἰς ἡμᾶς, ὥς τινι τῶν ἁγίων προσευχομένῳ τοσοῦτον ἀνθίστατο ὁ πονηρὸς ὡς ἅμα τοῦ̂ ἐκτεῖναι τὰς χεῖρας, ἐκεῖνον εἰς λέοντα μετασχηματισθῆαι, καὶ ἀνεγείροντα εἰς ὀρθὸν τοὺς ἐμπροσθίους πόδας τοὺς οἰκείους ὄνυχας ἑκατέρωθεν ταῖς δυσὶ ψόαις ἐμπείρειν τοῦ ἀγωνιστοῦ, καὶ μὴ ἀφίστασθαι, πρὶν ἢ τὰς χεῖρας κατάξῃ·  τὸν δὲ μηδέποτε ὑποχαλάσαι ταύτας ἄχρις οὗ τὰς συνήθεις εὐχὰς πληρῶσαι.



107. WE know of another similar monk who lived in a secluded cistern, John the Short - or rather John the Very Great - who remained without moving from his [intimate] communion with God as the demon in the form of a serpent coiled around him and constricted his flesh, disgorging it into his face.

ΡΖ´.  Τοιοῦτον ἔγνωμεν γεγονέναι καὶ τὸν ἐν λάκκῳ ἡσυχάσαντα  Ἰωάννην τὸν Μικρὸν, ἤτοι ὑπερμεγέθη μοναχὸν, ὃς ἀκίνητος ἔμεινεν ἐκ τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ συνουσίας, τοῦ δαίμονος ἐν εἴδει δράκοντος περιειλιγέντος ἀυτῷ καὶ μασωμένου αὐτοῦ τὰς σάρκας καὶ τῷ προσώπῳ αὐτοῦ ἐπερευγομένου.



108. AND you have read the lives of the Tabennesiote monks, where it says that as Abba Theodore was speaking a word to the brothers, two vipers crawled towards his feet; but he, undisturbed,  made for them a kind of vaulted chamber [of his feet] and let them stay there until he had finished his word. Then he showed them to the brothers interpreting what had happened.

ΡΗ´.   Ἀνέγνως πάντως καὶ τοὺς βίους τῶν ταβεννησιωτῶν μοναχῶν, καθά φησιν ὅτι λαλοῦντος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Θεοδώρου λόγον τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς, ἦλθον δύο ἔχιδναι πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· ὁ δὲ, ἀταράχως ποιήσας αὐτοὺς ὡσεὶ καμάραν, ὑπέλαβεν αὐτὰς ἔνδον ἕως ἐπαύσατο λαλῶν τὸν λόγον, καὶ τότε αὐτὰς ὑπεδείκνυ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς, ἐξηγούμενος τὸ πρᾶγμα.



109. WE have also read of another spiritual brother who, while praying a snake came and fastened upon his foot.  But he did not lower his hands until he had completed his customary prayer, and was not at all harmed - loving God more than himself.

ΡΘ´.  Περὶ ἑτέρου πάλιν ἀνέγνωμεν πνευματικοῦ αδελφοῦ, ὅτι προσευχομένου αὐτοῦ, ἔχιδνα ἐλθοῦσα καθήψατο τοῦ ποδὸς αὐτοῦ· ὁ δε,̀ οὐ πρότερον καθῆκε τὰς χεῖρας, ἄχρις οὗ τὴν συνήθη ἐξετέλεσεν εὐχὴν, καὶ οὐδὲν ἐβλάβη ὁ ἀγαπήσας τὸν θεὸν ὑπὲρ ἑαυτόν.



110. KEEP the eye from roaming during your prayer and deny your flesh and your soul (cf Lk 9:23), and live according to [the] nous.

ΡΙ´. Ἀμετεώριστον ὄμμα ἔχε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ σου, καὶ ἀρνησάμενός σου τὴν σάρκα, καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν, κατὰ νοῦν ζῆθι.



111. ANOTHER holy solitary in the desert was attacked by demons for two weeks while vigorously focusing on his prayer:  [as if] playing ball with him, they threw  him up into the air catching him on a rush mat.  They were completely unable to even briefly bring his nous down from its fiery* prayer.

ΡΙΑ´. Ἑτέρῳ τινὶ εὐτόνως εὐχομένῳ ἁγίῳ ἐν ἐρήμῳ ἡσυχάζοντι, δαίμονες ἐπιστάντες ἐπὶ δύο ἑβδομάδας, τοῦτον εσφαίριζον, καὶ ἐτίνασσον εἰς τὀν ἀέρα, δεχόμενοι αὐτὸν ἐν τῳ ψιαθίῳ· καὶ οὐδ᾿ ὅλως ἴσχυσαν κἂν πρὸς βραχὺ καταγαγεῖν αὐτοῦ τὸν νοῦν ἐκ τῆς ἐμπύρου προσευχῆς.

     *fiery supplication DeOrat 94; cf. Cassian Conf 9.15]  



112. AND [yet] another lover of God was praying with thoughtful foresight while going about in the desert when two angels came and walked on either side of him.  But he did not attend to them at all, so as not to lose what was better.  He remembered the saying of the apostle that neither angels, principalities or powers will be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-9).

ΡΙΒ´.  Αλλῳ πάλιν φιλοθέῳ καὶ προσευχῆς πρόνοιαν ποιουμένῳ, ἐν ἐρήμῳ βαδίζοντι, ἄγγελοι ἐπέστησαν δύο καὶ ἐμέσαζον αὐτὸν συνοδοιποροῦντες αὐτῷ· ὁ δὲ οὐδόλως τούτοις προσεῖχεν, ἵνα μὴ τὸ κρεῖττον ζημιωθῇ· ἐμνημόνευσε γὰρ τοῦ ἀποστολικοῦ ῥητοῦ τοῦ φάσκοντος· <Οὔτε ἄγγελοι, οὔτε ἀρχαὶ, οὔτε δυνάμεις δυνήσονται ἡμᾶς χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ.>



113.  A MONK becomes equal to the angels (Lk 20:36) by means of true prayer, yearning to see the face of the Father who is in heaven (Mt. 18:10).

ΡΙΓ´. <'Ισαγγελος> γίνεται μοναχὸς διὰ τῆς ἀληθοῦς προσευχῆς, 'επιποθῶν ἰδεῖν <τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρὸς τοῦ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.>



114.  DO not seek in any way at all to receive some form or shape or color at the time of prayer.

ΡΙΔ´.  Μὴ ζήτει παντελῶς μορφήν τινα ἢ σχῆμα ἢ χρῶμα δέχεσθαι ἐν τῷ τῆς προσευχῆς καιρῷ.



115. DO not yearn to see angels or powers or Christ through the senses, so as not to become completely insane by receiving a wolf instead of a shepherd (cf. Jn 10:11-12), and worshipping your enemies the demons.

ΡΙΕ´.  Μὴ πόθει ἀγγέλους ἰδεῖν ἢ δυνάμεις, ἢ Χριστὸν αἰσθητῶς, ἵνα μὴ τέλεον φρενήρης γένῃ, λύκον ἀντὶ ποιμένος δεχόμενος καὶ προσκυνῶν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς δαίμοσιν.



116. THE beginning of [deceptive] wandering of the nous is vainglory; by it the nous is moved to try to circumscribe the divine in shape and form.

ΡΙϚ´. Ἀρχὴ πλάνης νοῦ κενοδοξία, ἐξ ἧς κινούμενος ὁ νοῦς σχήμασι καὶ μορφαῖς περιγράφειν πειρᾶται τὸ θεῖον.



117. I WILL speak my piece - and to the youngest I have said it: blessed is the nous that, at the time of prayer, has acquired perfect formlessness.

ΡΙΖ´. Ἐγὼ τὸ ἐμὸν λέξω ὃ καὶ νεωτέροις εἴρηκα· μακάριος ἐστι νοῦς ὃς κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς τελείαν ἀμορφίαν ἐκτήσατο.



118. BLESSED is the nous that, praying without distraction, receives a continually increasing yearning for God.

ΡΙΗ´.  Μακάριός ἐστιν νοῦς, ὃς ἀπερισπάστως προσεὐχόμενος πλείονα πόθον πρὸς θεὸν ἀεὶ προσλαμβάνει.

119 immaterial nous at prayer


119. BLESSED is the nous that at the time of prayer becomes immaterial and wholly dispossessed.

ΡΙΘ´.  Μακάριός ἐστι νοῦς, ὃς κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς ἄϋλος καὶ ἀκτήμων γίνεται.

120 Insensible anesthetic nous


120. BLESSED is the nous that at the time of prayer acquires perfect insensibility .

ΡΚ´.  Μακάριός ἐστι νοῦς ὁ κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς τελείαν ἀναισθησίαν κτησάμενος.



121.   BLESSED is the monk who considers himself the offscouring of all  (1Cor. 4:13).

ΡΚΑ´.  Μακάριός ἐστι μοναχὸς ὁ <πάντων περίψημα> ἑαυτὸν λογιζόμενος.



122.  BLESSED is the monk who regards every human being as God, after God. [cf. Evag.Maxims 2.23: μετὰ θεὸν θεός]

ΡΚΒ´.  Μακάριός ἐστι μοναχὸς, ὁ πάντας ἀνθρώπους ὡς θεὸν μετὰ Θεὸν ἡγούμενος.



123.  BLESSED is the monk who looks upon the salvation and progress of all with profound joy, as if it were his own.

ΡΚΓ´.  Μακάριός ἐστι μοναχὸς ὁ τὴν πάντων σωτηρίαν, καὶ προκοπὴν ὡς οἰκείαν μετὰ πάσης χαρᾶς ἡδέως ὁρῶν.



124.  A MONK is one who is both separated from all and joined to all.

ΡΚΔ´.  Μοναχός ἐστιν, ὁ πάντων χωρισθεὶς καὶ πᾶσι συνηρμοσμένος.s



125.  A MONK is one who considers himself to be one with all, because he continuously thinks he sees himself in each one.

ΡΚΕ´.  Μοναχός ἐστιν, ὁ ἕνα ἑαυτὸν μετὰ πάντων ἡγούμενος διὰ τὸ ἐν ἑκάστῳ ἑαυτὸν ἀπαραλείπτως δοκεῖν ὁρᾷν.



126. HE brings prayer to perfection who always offers every first thought  as [first-]fruits to God (Rom 7:4).

ΡΚΣ´.  Οὗτος προσευχὴν ἐπιτελεῖ, ὁ ἀεὶ τὴν πρωτόνοιαν ἑαυτοῦ πᾶσαν καρποφορῶν τῷ Θεῷ.



127. AVOID falsehood and every oath [if] you yearn to pray as a monk;  otherwise you vainly affect an [external] appearance that is not your.

ΡΚΖ´.  Πᾶν ψεῦδος, καὶ πάντα ὄρκον περιίστασο ὡς μοναχὸς προσεύξασθαι ποθῶν, εἰ δὲ μήγε, εἰς μάτην σχηματίζεις τὸ ἀνοίκειον.



128. IF you wish to pray in spirit (cf 1Cor 15:15), hate no one, then you will not have an obstructing cloud [hanging] over you at the time of prayer.

ΡΚΠ´.  Εἰ πνεύματι προσεύχεσθαι βούλει, μηδὲνα μσει, καὶ οὐχ ἕξεις νέφος ἀντικοτοῦν σοι ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τῆς προσευχῆς.



129. ENTRUST to God the needs of the body and then it will be clear that you also entrust to Him the needs of the spirit.

ΡΚΘc.  'Εμπίστευσον τῷ Θεῷ τὴν χρείαν τοῦ σώματος, καὶ δῆλος ἐ̓́σῃ καὶ τὴν τοῦ πνεύματος πιστεύων αὐτῳ.



130. IF you obtain the promises (Heb 11:33), you will reign. So too if you constantly look to them (cf Heb 11:26) you will bear with pleasure the present poverty.

ΡΛ.  'Εὰν <ἐπιτεύξῃ τῶν ἐπαγγελιῶν,> βασιλεύσεις. Οὐκουν πρὸς ταύτας ἀεὶ βλέπων, ἡδέως οἴσεις τὴν παροῦσαν πενίαν.



131. DO not demand exemption from poverty and afflictions, for they are the material of weightless prayer.

ΡΛΑ´.  Μὴ παραιτοῦ πενίαν καὶ θλῖψιν, τὰς ὕλας τῆς ἀβαροῦς προσευχῆς.



132. VIRTUES of the body should serve you as a pledge of those of the soul, and they in turn of those of the spirit. And they [are a pledge] of immaterial and essential knowledge.

ΡΛΒ´.  Ὁμηρευέτωσάν σοι αἱ σωματικαὶ ἀρεταὶ πρὸς τὰς ψυχικάς, καὶ αἱ ψυχικαὶ πρὸς τὰς πνευματικάς.  καὶ αὗται πρὸς τὴν ἄϋλον καὶ οὐσιώδη γνῶσιν.



133. CONSIDER when praying against [tempting-]thoughts whether they abate readily, [and] why this has happened, lest you fall prey to an ambush and are tricked into delivering yourself over.

ΡΛΓ´.  Σκόπει κατευχόμενος λογισμῶν, εἰ ῥᾳδίως λωφῃσειεν, ὅθεν τοῦτο γέγονεν, μὴ ἔγκρυμμα πάθῃς καὶ πλανηθεὶς ἀποδῷς σεαυτόν.



134. SOMETIMES the demons suggest [tempting-]thoughts to you while simultaneously seeming to encourage you to pray against them or contradict them. Then they voluntarily withdraw, to deceive you into supposing you have begun to conquer [tempting-]thoughts and frighten the demons.

ΡΛΔ. στιν ὅτε ὁι δαίμονες ὑποβαλλουσί σοι λογισμοὺς πάλιν ἐρεθίζουσί σε δῆθεν προσεύξασθαι κατ' αὐτῶν ἢ ἀντιλέξαι αὐτοῖς καὶ ἑκουσίως ὑποχωροῦσιν, ίνα ἀπατηθεὶς οἰηθῇς περὶ σεαυτοῦ, ὅτι ἤρξω νικᾶν τοὺς λογισμοὺς καὶ φοβεῖν τοὺς δαίμονας.



135. IF you pray against a passion or  demon that annoys you, remember the One who said, ‘I will pursue my enemies and overtake them and I will not turn back until they turn away; I will crush them and they will be unable to stand, they will fall beneath my feet and so forth (Ps. 17:38-9). Say these things at the right time equiping yourself with humility against the antagonists.

ΡΛΕ.   Εἰ προσεύχῃ κατὰ πάθους ἢ δαίμονος παρενοχλοῦντός σοι, μέμνησο τοῦ λέγοντος· <Καταδιώξω τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου καὶ καταλήψομαι αὐτοὺς, καὶ οὐκ ἀποστραφήσομαι, ἕως ἂν ἐκλίπωσιν· ἐχθλίψω αὐτοὺς, καὶ οὐ μὴ δύνωνται στῆναι· πεσοῦνται ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας μου> καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς· ταῦτα δὲ εὐκαίρως λέξεις, ταπεινοφροσύνῃ ἑαυτὸν ὁπλίζων κατὰ τῶν ἀντιπάλων.



136. DO not imagine that you have acquired virtue until you have first been prepared to shed blood for it. For it is necessary to resist sin unto death  aggressively (Heb. 12:4) and blamelessly (1Cor 1:8), according to the divine apostle.

ΡΛϚ´.  Μὴ νόμιζε κεκτῆσθαι ἀρετήν, μὴ πρότερον ἕως αἵματος ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς παραταξάμενος, δεῖ γὰρ <μέχρι> θανάτου <ἀντικαθίσασθαι πρὸς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, ἀγωνιστικῶς> καὶ ἀνεγκλήτως, κατὰ τὸν θεῖον ἀπόστολον.



137. IF you help someone you [may] be harmed by another; this [may] cause you, as if having been treated unjustly, to say or do something improper to another. And you will scatter in evil what you have gathered in good (cf. Mt 12:30, Lk 11:23). This is the goal of the evil demons. That is why we must be attentive and have good sense. (nounechos).

ΡΛΖ´. Ἐὰν ὠφελήσῃς τινὰ, βλαβήσῃ ὑφ' ἑτέρου, ἵνα ὡς ἀδικούμενος, εἴπῃς ἢ δράσῃς τι ἄτοπον· καὶ σκορπίσῃς κακῶς, ἃ καλῶς συνήγαγες·  σκοπὸς γὰρ τοῦτο τῶν πονηρῶν δαιμόνων· διὸ προσεκτέον νουνεχῶς.



138. ALWAYS anticipate persuasive demonic assaults, and reflect on how to avoid becoming enslaved by them.

ΡΛΗ´. Ὁρμὰς δαιμόνων ἐπαχθεῖς ἀεὶ προσδέχου φροντίζων πῶς ἀποστῆναι τῆς δουλείας αὐτῶν.



139. BY night the evil demons themselves lay claim (cf Lk 22:31) to the spiritual teacher to disturb him, and by day they employ others who encompass him with difficulties and slanders and dangers.

ΡΛΘ´.  Νύκτωρ μὲν ταράττειν δι' ἑαυτῶν ἐξαιτοῦνται τὸν πνευματικὸν διδάσκαλον οἱ πονηροί δαίμονες· καὶ μεθ' ἡμέραν δι' ἀνθρώπων περιστάσεσι, καὶ συκοφαντίαις καὶ κινδύνοις τοῦτον περιβάλλουσιν.



140. DO not refuse the wool-cleaners. If they do beat and trample you, stretch and comb you, this is how your garment becomes radiant.

ΡΜ.  Μὴ παραιτοῦ τοὺς κναφεῖς· εἰ γὰρ καὶ τύπτουσι πατοῦντες καὶ τείνοντες ξαίνουσι, ἀλλά γε διὰ τούτων λαμπρὰ ἡ  ἐσθή́ς σου γίνεται.



141. TO the degree that you have not renounced the passions, and your nous is averse to virtue and truth, you cannot find the fragrance of incense in your breast (cf. Song 1:12).

ΡΜΑ. Ἐφ' ὅσον οὐκ ἀπετάξω τοις πάθεσιν, αλλ' ὁ νοῦς σου ἐναντιοῦται τῇ ἀρετῇ καὶ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ, οὐκ εὑρήσεις εὐῶδες θυμίαμα ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ σου.



142. THE one yearning to pray has moved from what is here to always have citizenship in heaven (Phil. 3:20), not merely through simple word[s] but through angelic practice and divine knowledge,

ΡΜΒ. Προσεύξασθαι ποθεῖ ὁ μεταστὰς τῶν ἐνθένδε καὶ <τὸ πολίτευμα, ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἔχων> διαπαντὸς, οὐ λόγῳ ἁπλῶς ψιλῳ ἀλλὰ πράξει ἀγγελικῇ καὶ γνώσει θειοτέρᾳ.



143. IF you remember the Judge only when things go badly and that He is fearful and impartial you have not yet learned how to serve the Lord in fear and to rejoice in him with trembling (Ps. 2:11). See, rather, that it is in times of spiritual rest and feasting that it is all the more necessary to worship him with reverence and awe (Heb 12:28).

      ΡΜΓ.  Εἰ μόνον δυσπραγῶν μνημονεύεις τοῦ κριτοῦ, ὡς φοβερὸς καὶ ἀδέκαστος ὑπάρχει, οὐδέπω μεμάθηκας <δουλεύειν Κυρίῳ ἐν φόβῳ, καὶ ἀγαλλιᾶσθαι αὐτῷ ἐν τρόμῳ.>  ἴσθι γὰρ, ὅτι κἀν ταῖς πνευματικαῖς ἀνέσεσι, καὶ εὐωχίαις μᾶλλον <μετ' εὐλαβείας καὶ αἰδοῦς δεῖ λατρεύειν> αὐτῷ.



144. THE well-informed man is one who, until he has attained  perfect repentance, endures the painful memory of his own sins and the just renalty exacted for them in the everlasting fire.

 ΡΜΔ. Ἐπιγνώμων ἀνὴρ, ὁ μὴ πρὸ τῆς τελείας μετανοίας ἀποσχόμενος τῆς ἐλλύπου μνείας τῶν οἰκείων ἁμαρτημάτων, καὶ τῆς ἐν πυρὶ αἰωνίῳ δίκης, τῆς τούτων εἰσπάξεως.



145. ONE who is [still] subject to sins and angry outbursts, and even so shamelessly dares to aspire to the knowledge of more divine things, or to embark on immaterial prayer, should receive himself the apostolic rebuke, that it is not without danger to pray with his head bare and uncovered (1Cor 11:5)Such a soul, it says, ought to have authority over its head because of the angels who stand by (1Cor 11:10), clothing itself in appropriate shame and humility.

ΡΜΕ. Ὁ ἐν ἁμαρτίαις ἐνεχόμενος, καὶ παροργισμοῖς καὶ τολμῶν ἀναιδῶς ἐκτείνεσθαι πρὸς γνῶσιν θειοτέρων πραγμάτων ἢ καὶ ἀΰλου κατεπεμβαίνων προσευχῆς, οὗτος δεχέσθω τὸ ἀποστολικὸν ἐπιτίμιον· ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν ἀκίνδυνον αὐτῳ,̂ τὸ γυμνῃ καὶ <ἀκατακάλυπτῳ κεφαλῇ προσεύχεσθαι·> <ὀφείλει> γὰρ, φησὶν, ἡ τοιαύτη ψυχὴ <κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν διὰ τοὺς ἐφεστῶτας ἀγγέλους,> αἰδὼ, καὶ ταπεινοφροσύνην προσήκουσαν περιβαλλομένη.



146. JUST as staring intently and directly at the sun at noon when it shines most brightly does no good to one with a eye-disease, and in So also one suffering from an impassioned and impure nous would gain nothing by imitating the awesome supernatural prayer that operates in Spirit and in Truth (Jn 4:23-24). Rather the reverse: it provokes the divine to be indignant with it.

ΡΜϚ´.  Ὥσπερ  ὀφθαλμιῶντα οὐκ ὀνήσει ἡ ἐν σταθηρᾷ μεσημβριᾳ, καὶ σφοδροτάτῃ φρυκτωρίᾳ ἀκατακάλυπτος καὶ ἐπιτεταμένη τοῦ ἡλίου θέα, οὕτως οὐδὲ τὸν ἐμπαθῆ, καὶ ἀκάθαρτον νοῦν ἡ τῆς <ἐν πνεύματι, καὶ ἀληθείᾳ> φοβερᾶς, καὶ ὑπερφυοῦς προσευχῆς ἀνατύπωσις παντελῶς ὀνήσειεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὐναντίον πρὸς ἀγανάκτησιν ἐγείρε καθ' ἑαυτοῦ τὸ Θεῖον.



147. IF God who lacks nothing and is impartial refused to accept one who came with a gift to the altar until  he reconciled with the neighbor who was upset with him (Mt 5:24), consider what watchfulness and discernment is needful to offer a favorable incense to God at the noetic altar.

ΡΜΖ.  Εἰ τὸν μετὰ δώρου προσελθόντα ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον οὐκ ἐδέξατο, ὁ ἀνενεδεὴς, καὶ ἀδέκαστος, ἕως τοῦ διαλλαλῆναι τῷ πλησίον λυπουμένῳ πρὸς αὐτὸν, σκόπει πόσης φυλακῆς χρεία καὶ διακρίσεως, ἵνα εὐπρόσδεκτον δῶμεν τῷ Θεῷ θυμίαμα ἐν τῷ νοητῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ.



148. DO not take pleasure in material [things] or glory, otherwise it is no longer on your back, but on your face, that sinners will wreak their carpentry (Ps 128:3) And at the time of prayer you will be a source of laughter for them (Ecclus 6:4, 18:3) , as they drag you off and entice you (Jas 1:14) with bizarre [tempting-]thoughts.

 ΡΜΗ.  Μὴ ἔσο ὑλοχαρὴς, μηδὲ δοξοχαρὴς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, οὐκ ἔτι <ἐν τῷ νώτῳ> σου, αλλ' ἐν τῷ προσώπῳ σου <τεκταίνουσιν οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ>· καὶ ἔσῃ ἐπίχαρμα αὐτοῖς κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν τῆς προσευχῆς, <ἐξελκόμενος, καὶ δελεαζόμενος> ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἐν λογισμοῖς ἀλλοκότοις.

149 prosoche and prayer


149. ATTENTIVENESS seeking prayer finds prayer; for prayer follows  attentiveness, if [it follows] anything,  and it should always be zealously sought.

ΡΜΘ.  Προσοχὴ προσευχὴν ἐπιζητοῦσα, προσευχὴν εὑρήσει· προσευχὴ γὰρ προσοχῇ εἰ καὶ τι ἄλλο μαλλον ἕπεται, εφ' ἣν σπουδαστέον ἀεί.



150. JUST as sight excels all the other senses, so prayer is higher than all the other virtues

ΡΝ. Ὥσπερ πασῶν τῶν αἰσθήσεων κρείττων ἡ ὅρασις, οὕτω καὶ πασῶν τῶν ἀρετῶν, ἡ προσευχὴ ἀνωτέρα.



151. IT is not simply quantity, but rather quality that makes prayer admirable. And this is shown by those who went up to the Temple (Lk 18:10-14), and again, ‘When you pray, do not babble on (Mt. 6:7) and other similar [texts].

ΡΝΑ.  Προσευχῆς ἔπαινος, οὐχ ἁπλῶς ἡ ποσότης, ἀλλ ἡ ποιότης. Καὶ τοῦτο δηλοῦσιν οἱ <ἀναβάντες εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν·>, καὶ πάλιν· <Ὑμεῖς δὲ ὅταν προσεύχησθε, μὴ βαττολογεῖτε·> καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα.



152. AS long as you are observing the proportion of your body, and your nous is busy looking at the attractiveness of the tent, you have not yet observed the place of prayer: the blessed path is still far from you.

ΡΝΒ.Ἐφ' ὅσον τῇ ἀναλογίᾳ προσέχεις τοῦ σώματος καὶ ὁ νοῦς σου τὰ τῆς σκηνῆς περιέπει τερπνὰ, οὐδέπω τὸν τῆς προσευχῆς ἑώρακας τόπον, ἀλλ᾽ ἔτι μακρὰν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἡ μακαρία ταύτης ὁδὸς ὑπχάρχει.



153. WHEN standing to pray becomes a greater joy than any other, then you have truly found prayer

ΡΝΓ´. ταν ἱστάμενος εἰς προσευχὴν ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν ἄλλην χαρὰν γένῃ, τότε ἀληθῶς εὕρηκας προσευχήν.




Fiery prayer elsewhere in Evagrius:

fire & knowledge Sch 1 Ps 19.6;  ?? 3 on 21.7;   4 on 25.6;  18 on 36.20[1];  !!2 on 49.3;  purifying 5 on 57.9;  fire=spiritual teaching 1 on 74.4;  fire=spiritual power 30 on 104.39;  fire teaches toe souls of men 23 on 138.28;   fire=seed of spiritual knowledge3 on 147.3; 



[1] The best translation of De Oratione currently available, based on the most reliable manuscripts, is that of Sinkewicz: Evagrius Ponticus, The Greek Ascetic Corpus, (Oxford, 2003), pp. 183-209.

  The translation provided on these webpages makes liberal use of the melifluous version of Simon Tugwell, O.P: Evagrius Ponticus Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer, Faculty of Theology, Oxford, 1987.The Greek text used in this translation is based principally on PG 79,1165-1200 and Philokalia I (Athens, 1957), pp. 176-189This Greek text incorporates textual emendations suggested by: [1] Hausherr, Le Traité de l’Oraison d’Evagre le Pontique in Rev.d’Asc.et Mys.v.15, 1934; pp. 34-93, 113-170; and [2] Tugwell, Evagrius Ponticus: De oratione (Oxford: Faculty of Theology, 1981), Greek text based on six MSS.

  Additional (older) English translations of de Oratione may be found in: [1] Early Fathers from the Philokalia (Faber); [2] The Philocalia, vol. 1 (Faber); and [3] J. E. Bamberger, O.C.S.O, tr., Evagrius Ponticus, Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian).  


This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1997....x....   “”.