My beloved children:
Today we will say a few things about the great virtue of watchfulness.
As you know, watchfulness is a patristic teaching, it is the experience of the great neptic fathers of the Church and of the desert. The word nepsis comes from nepho, which means to be sleepless, to guard, to inspect, examine, watch over, and keep under surveillance. All these things the fathers sum up in one continuous attention to the nous. Watchfulness is described as the axe which shatters the large trees, hitting their roots. And when the root is struck, it doesn’t spring up again. Thus also when the nous of the man, of the Christian, has heed for the soul, it keeps watch over the heart and the five senses of the soul, the bodily as well as the spiritual. When the nous is awake, when it is attentive, when it keeps watch over the speculations, the thoughts, when it controls the imagination, then the whole man, body and soul, is kept pure.