Evagrius Ponticus

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Evagrius Ponticus (c. 346-399) was an Egyptian monastic, and one of the earliest spiritual writers on asceticism in the Christian eremitic tradition. He is also called Evagrius of Pontus or Evagrius the Solitary. Some of his works are included in the Philokalia.

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  • On Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life
  • On Discrimination in respect of Passions and Thoughts
  • On Watchfulness
  • On Prayer: 153 Texts


  • Whoever loves true prayer and yet becomes angry or resentful is his own enemy. He is like a man who wants so see clearly and yet inflicts damage on his own eyes. –Treatise on Prayer, 64
  • Whether you pray with brethren or alone, try to pray not simply as a routine, but with conscious awareness of your prayer. Conscious awareness of prayer is concentration accompanied by reverence, compunction and distress of soul as it confesses its sin with inward sorrow. -unknown work
  • If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian. - Treatise on Prayer, 61.
  • Bread is food for the body and holiness is food for the soul: prayer is food for the intellect. - Ibid., 101.
  • Evil thoughts cut off good thoughts and are cut off by good thoughts - On Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts, 6.
  • Spiritual reading, vigils, and prayer bring the straying intellect to stability. Hunger, exertion, and withdrawal from the world wither burning lust. - Extracts from the Texts on Watchfulness, 5.

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