I am a convert to the Eastern Orthodox Faith, although it took me many years to “bend my stiff neck.” I am in love with Christ and I admit to expressing it in the manner of an moonstruck teenager. I am not “more Orthodox than thou.” I will be barely Orthodox enough for some, barely Christian to others, and barely tolerable to a few more. That’s alright, as long as we all think hard about what we believe and watch over the words in our hearts when we choose the ones to leave here.
Nepsis (Gk: νῆψις) is an element of spiritual struggle. It is practiced as vigilance and watchful attentiveness conducted in a spirit of temperance and sobriety.
St. Symeon the New Theologian writes: “Our whole soul should have at every moment a clear eye, able to watch and notice the thoughts entering our heart from the evil one and repel them. The heart must be always burning with faith, humility and love. Do not fear the conflict, and do not flee from it; where there is no struggle, there is no virtue.”
“Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly I say to you, that he will gird himself and have them recline to eat and he will come and serve them.” (Lk 12:37) Maranatha! O Lord, come!
P.S. The picture of the young man in the upper left is from a Byzantine mosaic found in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. Dating from the 6th century A.D., it depicts our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ in the flower of his youth. My own Gravatar is also a little piece of this church.