It is by the ascesis of faith that a man conquers egotism, steps beyond the bounds of self, and enters into a new, transcendent reality which also transcends subjectivity. In this new reality new laws rule; what is old has passed away and all is made new. Plunged into the unknown depths of this new reality, the ascetic of faith is led and guided by prayer; he feels, thinks, and lives by prayer.
Tracing this path of faith in the intellect of man, St Isaac notes that the intellect is guarded and guided by prayer, every good thought being transformed by prayer into a pondering on God. But prayer is also a hard struggle, calling the whole person into action. Man crucifies himself in prayer, crucifying the passions and sinful thoughts that cling to his soul. Prayer is the slaying of the carnal thoughts of man’s fleshly life.
Patient perseverance in prayer is for man a very hard ascesis, that of Continue reading