Let us Live Soberly


V.xi. 32.  Holy Syncletica said, “Let us live soberly. It is through our bodily senses that we can be despoiled if we are not careful. How can the house possibly not become darkened if we let smoke in from outside through an open window?” 

V.xi. 33.  She also said, “We must maintain everywhere an armed defence against the demons, for they attack us from outside and stir us up inside, according to our experience. Just as a ship is sometimes buffeted from the outside by the force of the waves, and sometimes sunk because of a build-up of bilge water inside, so we are sometimes lost because of the evil of the deeds we do outwardly, and sometimes betrayed by the maliciousness of our inner thoughts. We must therefore not only watch out for the external attacks of evil spirits, but also expel the uncleanness of our inner thoughts.” 

V.xi. 34.  Again she said, “We have no security in this world. As the Apostle says, ‘Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.’ (1 Cor.10.12)  We are sailing indeed in uncertain waters, like the psalmist who likens our life to the sea (Psalm 104). There are regions of the sea which are full of danger and others which are safe; we seem to travel in the safe areas of the sea, it is people in the world who seem to be in the areas of danger. We travel in the light, led by the sun of righteousness, they are tossed about in a night of ignorance. It often happens however that people in the world who travel in tempest and darkness are able to save their ship when afraid of danger by crying to the Lord and by renewed vigilance. We in our places of calm can be sunk by very complacency, having loosed our hold on the rudder of righteousness.” End.

From: DE VITIS PATRUM, BOOK V, Libellus 11: Living Soberly

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