A Catholic Monthly Magazine

School for Prayer (12) – Evagrius of Pontus (4)

By Fr Craig  Larkin sm, 1943 - 2015

Building up Resistance 

Each of the logismoi is resisted or counteracted by a virtue or a good habit:

To resist the logismos of Gluttony

Be moderate in eating and drinking

Undertake fasting from time to time or don’t eat between meals

Do manual work

Develop the habit of spiritual reading

To resist the logismos of Lust

Pay attention to your thoughts; notice where these thoughts come from, and when they come to you

Watch over your body; avoid a soft and easy life

Undertake a disciplined work life

Pray for an increase in your desire/thirst for God

To resist the logismos of Avarice

Serve the poor

Make a conscious distinction between “what I need” and “what I want”

Remember death; “there are no pockets in a shroud”

To resist the logismos of Anger

Practice kindness; practice compassion; 

Practice serving others in community

Do not correct others when you are angry with them

To resist the logismos of Sadness

Develop a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness

Read Scripture

To resist the logismos of Vainglory

Do works of charity in secret

Pray for a spirit of penthos, realization of sinfulness

To resist the logismos of Pride 

Do not judge others

Do not always fight to control your personal space

Accept the unexpected things

Allow others to express their opinions; 

Listen to others’ opinions

Consciously pray for specific people

To resist the logismos of Acedia

Develop a routine of work; stick to the task

Do manual work; do physical exercise

Develop an attitude of gratitude

Resist cynical thoughts 

Making it Personal

The ascetical teaching of Evagrius is very relevant for today. Evagrius teaches that the human person is made up of Body and Soul.

The Body gains its knowledge from the five senses.

The Soul is composed of three powers:

The rational power (the head)

The concupiscible power (the heart)

The irascible power (the gut)

Each of us acts from one of the three “centres” of our being:

the head, the heart or the gut

The ‘Head’ Person

If you are a ‘head’ person:

Ideas are important: knowledge is important: truth is important: right thinking is important: knowing who is right and who is wrong is important: finding out things is important.

BUT:

The “cracks in the heart” for you may be: using knowledge to gain power over others: not sharing knowledge: being over-curious: wanting to control others: not wanting others to have power over you: wanting to control your environment: being judgemental of others: being self-sufficient: not connecting with others.

Your Logosmoi

The logismoi that most affect you are Vainglory and Pride.

The ‘Heart’ Person

If you are a ‘heart’ person:

Relationships are important: loving and being loved is important: making people feel at ease is important: having ideals is important.

 

 

BUT:

The “cracks in the heart” for you may be: buying good relationships at any price: not speaking truth for fear of losing friendship: desiring to “fit in” or to be liked at any cost: seducing others or flattering others: allowing yourself to be seduced: seeking comfort and a soft life: being disheartened when ideals are not met, and losing energy.

Your Logosmoi

The logismoi that most affect you are Avarice, Lust/Impurity, Gluttony.

The ‘Gut’ Person

If you are a ‘gut’ person:

Action is important: caring for others is important: doing things for others is important: acting quickly and energetically for others is important: standing up courageously for causes is important: getting the job done is important.

BUT:

The “cracks in the heart” for you may be: disillusionment at the lack of response of others: anger when frustrated: giving up in the face of opposition: moodiness.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
- Winston Churchill

Your Logosmoi

The logismoi that most affect you are: Anger, Sadness, Acedia. 

[Next month: Putting it all together]


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