Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts of the day #46/2011: Evagrius Ponticus (2)

Evagrius Ponticus
(ca. 345-399 CE)
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Dear Readers,
today I have chosen again a proverb from Evagrius Ponticus's work Ad monachos. In his forward to the edition and translation of it, Jeremy Driscoll wrote:" Evagrius of Pontus (ca. 345-399 CE) was educated philosophically and theologically under Basil and Gregory Nazianzus. He was deacon for Gregory in Constantinople and seems to have been helpful for him in carving out the solution to the trinitarian problems faced by the concil in that city 381. An amorous attachment to a lady highly placed in imperial circles caused him to flee to Jerusalem, where he was received by the monastic communities of Rufinus and Melania on the Mount of Olives. Under the influence of Melania, he retired to the deserts of Egypt to complete his monastic conversion. He was among the first of the desert fathers to articulate in writing of the spiritual tradition of the monastic movement. His writings, much esteemed in his lifetime and after, eventually came to be subject of controversy and misunderstanding, particularly because of their intentionally enigmatic style. Teachings associated with his name were condemned in the Council of Constantinople in 533". This is a proverb taken from his work "Ad Monachos":

Anachoresis is love purifies the heart,
anachoresis in hate agitates it.

- Evagrius Ponticus - Ad monachos

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