Friday, November 17, 2006

Wake up, sleepyheads.

As in the days of Noah, so will it be.....

From Saint Gregory of Nyssa (around 335-395), Monk and Bishop, Homily 11 on the Song of Songs

“They ate and drank, they bought and sold.”

The Lord gave his disciples important recommendations so that they might shake off like dust everything earthly in their nature and might thus be raised to the desire for supernatural realities.

According to one of these recommendations, those who turn towards life on high must be stronger than sleep and must always remain watchful… I am talking about the drowsiness that arises among those who are plunged in life’s lie through illusory dreams such as honors, riches, power, pomp, the fascination of pleasure, ambition, the thirst for enjoyment, vanity and everything that their imagination leads superficial people to seek madly.

All these things pass away with the fleeting nature of time; they belong to the domain of appearances… Hardly have they seemed to exist when they disappear like the waves of the sea…So that our minds might be free of these illusions, the Word invites us to shake this deep sleep from the eyes of our soul, so that we might not slip away from the true realities by becoming attached to that which has no consistency. That is why he suggests that we be watchful when he says: “Let your belts be fastened around your waists and your lamps be burning ready.” (Lk 12:35)

For when the light shines before our eyes, it chases sleep away, and when our kidneys are held tight by a belt, they prevent the body from succumbing to it… The person who has fastened the belt of temperance lives in the light of a pure conscience; the trust of a child illuminates his life like a lamp… If we live like that, we will enter into a life that is like that of the angels.

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