Does your mind speak with God? ‘Prayer’, according to Evagrius Pontlcus, ‘is the converse of the mind with God’. For Isaac the Syrian, the converse of the mind with God is the highest and most important spiritual activity of a Christian. Take good care of you intellect to ensure it’s directed toward its Creator and not running away from Him.
Love the good things. Because through the love of the good things your intellect is purified and illuminated. Free your intellect.
St Isaiah the Solitary
On Guarding the Intellect
Conscience, it will abandon us and we shall fall into the hands of our enemies, who will never let us go. This is what our Lord taught us when He said: ‘Come to an agreement with your adversary quickly while you are with him in the road, lest he hand you over to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer and you are cast into prison (Matt.
5:25). The conscience is called an ‘adversary’ because it opposes us when we wish to carry out the desires of our flesh; and if we do not listen to our conscience, it delivers us into the hands of our enemies.
If God sees that the intellect has entirely submitted to Him and puts its hope in Him alone. He strengthens it, saying: ‘Have no fear Jacob my son, my little Israel” (Isa. 41:14. LXX), and: ‘Have no fear: for I have delivered you, I have called you by My name; you are Mine. If you pass through water, I shall be with you, and the rivers will not drown you. If you go through fire, you will not be burnt, and the names will not consume you. For I am
the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, who saves you’ (cf . Isa. 43:1-3. LXX).
When the intellect hears these words of reassurance, it says boldly to its enemies: ‘Who would fight with me? Let him stand against me. And who would accuse me? Let him draw near to me. Behold, the Lord is my helper; who will harm me? Behold, all of you are like an old moth-eaten garment’ (cf Isa. 50:8-9. LXX).
If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind: but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies. ” Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil.
The monk should shut all the gates of his soul, that is, the senses, so that he is not lured astray. When the intellect sees that it is not dominated by anything, it prepares itself for immortality, gathering its senses together and forming them into one body.
If your intellect is freed from all hope in things visible, this is a sign that sin has died in you.
If your intellect is freed, the breach between it and God is eliminated.