He is upon our right hand, and our footsteps shall not slide

FOR the monk, everything is about the care of the eye of the heart (ο νούς) …

The use and abuse of what the eye of heart sees (τα νοήματα) is the breeding ground for everything else. If someone has good judgment on what the eye of heart sees, whatever he does he has a good judgment in practical matters too, otherwise you get the opposite effect. For that reason, you must put all your concentration into the care of the eye of the heart.

One of the best ways to care for the eye of the heart is a continual remembrance of God. If he turns his attention to this goal, then a man will find himself in the remembrance of God, and he will not sin.

Man made “in the image and likeness of God” rarely becomes habitually wicked out of choice. And still more for such people, absolutely corrupted, who were not able to resist their passions and are continually swept away and sin, we are not able to say that they always sin out of choice, but that much of time it is out of powerlessness.

The healthy man does not come into habitual wickedness by choice; and the fact that he is swept away, is due to the fact that little by little the eye of heart drew off from its goal, and became a victim of the wickedness of satan and of the condition of the “old man”, beset with the passions.

So being unable to have clear sight, a clear vision in exercising judgment about things, it is seduced by nameless excuses and prefers evil instead of good things. When, however, the eye of the heart regains its throne, and properly recognises its commission and feels the presence of God with it – because “he is upon our right hand, and our footsteps shall not slide” – it is not moved to evil, but is turned aside from it.

Elder Joseph the Hesychast (1898-1959). Original at Αντιαιρετικόν Εγκόλπιον.


LORD Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner (said repeatedly).

Remember me, O Lord, when thou comest into thy Kingdom (Lk 23:42).