Όμολογία τῶν λογισμῶν. The confession of thoughts at the Fathers of the Paterikon

15 September 2015

At the beginning of the 4th century, once with the considerable growth of the number of Christians, a series of people would retreat from society into the desert, in order to seek God and to relight the intensity and fervour of the first Christians through asceticism, leading an austere life, prayer and fasting. All the “weapons” of faith – fasting, prayer, tears, repentance, mercy, etc- had as sole objective the creation of a “new man”. Since the beginning of sin lies in accepting the thought brought by temptation or the evil thought, the fathers insisted upon banishing evil thoughts from the very beginning of their attack. The steps of their penetration of the heart, the remedies for what they cause, their elimination or the safeguard against them of the heart, the art of destroying them, the catalogue of intemperances or thoughts etc., are thoroughly analysed by the fathers in the Paterikon , which is a collection of words, apothegms, aphorisms and also memorable deeds, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer, of the Egyptian Holy Fathers, also known as “the fathers of the desert”.  At the basis of this study lies not only the oldest of the Paterikons, namely The Egyptian Paterikon, but also others which have been written afterwards, from the centuries following the Egyptian one and up to nowadays.