Saint Ignatius confesses: “Of all things visible and invisible I envy nothing. The only thing I want to gain is Jesus Christ. Fire and crucifixion, assaults of beasts, scattering of the bones, chopping of the flesh, grinding of the whole body, all the ways of satan’ s test, let them come upon me, only to enjoy my Christ”.
He says elsewhere: “Like living water there is a voice in me saying: ‘Come to the Father’. I am not satisfied with perishable foods and pleasures. It’s the bread of God I long for, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and it’s His blood I want to receive, which is indestructible love”.
Throughout the centuries the same thirst and flame possessed the ascetics and hermits. They lived like strangers and foreigners to this world. At the same time, they suffered the everyday martyrdom of conscience joyfully and willingly so as to deaden themselves and let Christ dwell in them.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos (†)
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Holy Women Hesychasterion
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