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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==Life==
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Evagrius was born in Pontus around the year 345 and studied under the [[Cappadocians|Cappadocian Fathers]]. St. [[Basil the Great]] tonsured Evagrius a [[reader]], and St. [[Gregory the Theologian]] elevated him to the [[deacon|diaconate]]. As a deacon, Evagrius Ponticus would attend the [[Second Ecumenical Council]] (First Constantinople) in 381, which formulated the last portion of the [[Nicene Creed]] (the article dealing with the [[Holy Spirit]]). After visiting Jerusalem, Evagrius became a [[monk]] in the Egyptian desert in 383. There his life would touch those of two other [[saint]]s: St. [[Macarius of Alexandria]], his mentor; and St. [[John Cassian]] ("Cassian the Roman"), his disciple. (Many believe he also met St. [[Macarius the Great]].) He died in Kellia, Egypt, in 399.
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Evagrius passed on his firsthand knowledge of the [[Desert Fathers]] to many visitors and disciples, becoming particularly well known for his teaching on [[prayer]]. He exhorted his followers to practice the virtues, engage in regular Psalmody, and refrain from making any physical/mental images during prayer. However, like so many others, he became influenced by the teachings of [[Origen]], believing in the doctrines of [[apokatastasis]], the "restitution of all things" (including the reconciliation of [[Satan]]), and in the Platonic notion of the pre-existence of the soul. The [[Fifth Ecumenical Council]] (Second Constantinople) in 553 deemed both these doctrines (and Origen himself) [[heresy|heretical]]. Although never [[Glorification|glorified]] as a saint, Evagrius' teachings on [[asceticism]], prayer, and the spiritual life had a profound impact upon both Christian East and West.
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==Works==
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*On Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life
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*On Discrimination in respect of Passions and Thoughts
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*On Watchfulness
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*On Prayer: 153 Texts
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==Quotations==
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*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
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*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
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*If you are a [[theologian]], you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian. - ''Treatise on Prayer'', 61.
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*Bread is food for the body and holiness is food for the soul: prayer is food for the intellect. - Ibid., 101.
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*Evil thoughts cut off good thoughts and are cut off by good thoughts - ''On Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts'', 6.
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*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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==See also==
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*[[Philokalia]]
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*[[Origen]]
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==External links==
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evagrius_Ponticus Original Wikipedia article]
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*[http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/evagrius.html Evagrius Ponticus: On Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life]
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*[http://www.kalvesmaki.com/EvagPont/ Evagrius Ponticus: Monastic Theologian]
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*[http://www.ccel.org/w/wace/biodict/htm/iii.v.lix.htm Evagrius Ponticus] from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
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*[http://home.versatel.nl/chotki/a_life_of_evagrius_of_pontus.htm A Life of Evagrius of Pontus]
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*[http://www.evagrius.net Evagrian Scholarship Center]
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*[http://www.ldysinger.com/Evagrius/00a_start.htm St. Evagrius Ponticus]: a collection of many Evagrian works in a Greek/English parallel format
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[[Category:Asceticism]]
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[[Category:Church Fathers]]
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[[Category:Desert Fathers]]
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[[Category:Monastics]]
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[[ro:Evagrie Ponticul]]
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Revision as of 04:11, June 10, 2008

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