From Mystic Treatises by Saint Isaac of Nineveh
Faith is the gate to the mysteries. What the bodily eye is for the things of the senses, the same is faith in connection with the treasures hidden to the eyes of the mind.
We possess two psychic eyes, as the Fathers say, just as we possess two bodily eyes. But both have not the same purpose as to sight.
With one we see the hidden glory of God which is concealed in the things of nature, His power and His wisdom, and His eternal care for us which by His particular providence is directed unto us. With the same eye we also see the spiritual classes of our fellow-beings. With the other we see the glory of His holy nature. When our Lord desires to give us initiation to the spiritual mysteries, He opens in our mind the ocean of faith.
As a grace beyond a grace has repentance been given to man. Repentance is being born anew in God. That of which we have received the pledge by baptism, we receive as a gift by repentance. Repentance is the gate of mercy, which is opened to all who seek it. Through this gate we go in to Divine Mercy. Apart from this entrance it is not possible to find mercy. Because all have sinned, according to the words of Scripture, and are justified freely by grace. (Rom. 3, 23) Repentance is a second grace; it is born in the heart from faith and fear. Fear* is the paternal rod which guides us up to the spiritual Eden. When we have arrived there, it leaves us and returns. Eden is the divine love wherein is the paradise of all goods, where the blessed Paul was sustained by supernatural food. When he had eaten from the tree of life which is there, he exclaimed: “eye has not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Cor. 2, 9) Adam was bereft of this tree by the promise of the Devil. The tree of life is the divine love which Adam lost by his fall, after which he worked and wearied himself. Those who are bereft of divine love are still eating the bread that is won by the sweat of their labour, even though they work righteousness, as was commanded to the head of our race when he lost it by his fall. Until we find love, we work in the earth with her thorns. Among thorns we sow and reap, even if we sow the seed of righteousness. Perpetually we are pricked by them, even if we are justified, and live with sweat on our faces.
When, however, we have found love, we eat the heavenly bread and we are sustained without labour and without weariness. Love is sufficient to feed man instead of food and drink. This is the wine that gladdens the heart of man. Blessed is he who has drunk from this wine.
As it is not possible to cross the ocean without a boat or a ship, so no one can cross towards love, without fear. This foetid sea, which lies between us and the intelligible paradise, we cross in the boat of repentance, which has fear for a rudder. If the rudder of fear does not govern this ship of repentance, in which we cross the sea of this world towards God, we shall be drowned in the foetid sea. Repentance is the ship, fear is the governor, love is the divine port.
When we have reached love, we have reached God and our way is ended and we have passed unto the island which lieth beyond the world, where is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; to whom be glory and dominion. That He make us worthy to fear and to love him. Amen.
May God bless and protect you and…
May you always be
Safe and Comfortable
Seth Kelly Curtis