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By Joseph

This choice of Elder Joseph the Hesychast’s letters, offered now for the 1st time in English, makes the wealth of his knowledge and adventure on hand to readers from all walks of lifestyles. As his severe ascetical struggles and hesychastic way of life spread through the pages, one witnesses his tricky trials and long battles with the demons, his profound visions and encouraged religious assistance, his martyric patience in health problems, and eventually his holy repose - leaving one with the understanding that Elder Joseph used to be an extraordinary instance of sanctity for contemporary occasions.

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Just as the body has nerves, the soul has anger. Everyone should use it against the demons, heretics, and anyone who hinders us from the path of God. However, if you get angry with your fellow brothers, or get in a rage and ruin the works of your hands, know that you are suffering from vainglory and are abusing the nerve of your soul. You are delivered from this passion through love towards all and true humility. Therefore, when anger comes, close your mouth tightly, and do not speak to him who curses, dishonors, reproaches, or bothers you in any way without reason.

Do not out of ignorance ally yourself with the enemy of your soul. The cunning enemy knows very well how to hide behind passions and weaknesses. So in order to strike him, you must fight and mortify yourself—all your passions, that is. When the “old man”13 dies, the strength of your hostile enemy is abolished. We are not battling with a man, whom you can kill in many ways, but with the powers and rulers of darkness. They are not fought with sweets and marshmallows, but with streams of tears, with pain of soul until death, with utter humility, and with great patience.

Just as the body has nerves, the soul has anger. Everyone should use it against the demons, heretics, and anyone who hinders us from the path of God. However, if you get angry with your fellow brothers, or get in a rage and ruin the works of your hands, know that you are suffering from vainglory and are abusing the nerve of your soul. You are delivered from this passion through love towards all and true humility. Therefore, when anger comes, close your mouth tightly, and do not speak to him who curses, dishonors, reproaches, or bothers you in any way without reason.

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