Light for the Soul

Continual reflection on the Scriptures is light for the soul, because they imprint on the intellect recollections helpful for guarding against the passions and for continuance with God through love and the purity of prayer; further, it makes straight before us the path of peace trodden by the footsteps of the saints. Do not, however, set your hopes upon the notations of the verses when in your prayers or hourly reading they are not attended by great alertness and constant contrition. Accept without fail words spoken from experience, even if the speaker is unlearned; for the treasuries of great kings of the earth do not despise the addition of a beggar’s obol, and by brooks great rivers are filled and their flow is mighty.

St Isaac the Syrian. From Homily Fifty-Four.

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4 Responses to Light for the Soul

  1. Adrian says:

    Hello everyone! I’m doing a master project on Amos (9, 11-12) so, if anyone is having any ideas or materials regarding this theme, please let me know!
    God Bless You!
    † Th. ADRIAN

  2. desertseeker says:

    St. Isaac’s esteem of both Scriptures and experience is striking, especially his injunction to gain wisdom from unlikely sources. There are many lessons in this little quote. Thank you for posting it.

  3. Ian says:

    Thank you; wondrous — and I even learnt a new word [obol]. :)

  4. Thanks, gentlemen!

    Todd, St Isaac is almost all like that. His writings are densely packed with passages of multiple layers of meaning, all overlapping. It makes a selection like that, short and powerfull, really easy. St Ephrem, on the other hand, is likewise full of passages of overlapping meaning, but most often developed in a very clear and beautiful way that makes excerpting from him more difficult, jusy in that I don’t want to either a.) cut a snippet out of its elaborate context if it’s part of a particularly magnificent passage of development like that, or b.) post the entire thing, which is just not right from a copyright point of view.

    Ian, isn’t that fun? I always enjoy running into new words. Recently, I very much enjoyed having to look up a few words while I was reading The Lord of the Rings. That, among other things, greatly impressed me. On ancient Greek coinage and measures, this is a great page.

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