Today dear children we will return to the desert to visit with a mystical woman who was revered by even the Desert Fathers for her counsel. Amma Theodora was the wife of a tribune. She sought the way of humility as the pathway to perfection.
Here are a few pieces of wisdom from Amma Theodora:
It is good to live in peace , for the wise man practices perpetual prayer. It is truly a great thing for a virgin or monk to live in peace, especially the younger ones. However you should realize that as soon as you intend to live in peace, at once evil comes and weighs down your soul through accidie (sloth and depression) faintheartedness and evil thoughts. It also attacks your body through sickness, debility, weakness of the knees and all the members. It dissipates the strength of the soul and body, so that one believes one is ill and no longer able to pray. But if we are vigilant, all these temptations fall away. There was in fact a monk who was seized by cold and fever every time he began to pray, and he suffered from headaches, too. In this condition, he said to himself, "I am ill, and near to death; so now I will get up before I die and pray." By reasoning in this way, he did violence to himself and prayed. When he finished , the fever abated also. So by reasoning in this way, the brother resisted, and prayed and was able to conquer his thoughts.
A devout man happened to be insulted by someone and he said to him, "I could say as much to you, but the commandment of God keeps my mouth shut."
Give the body discipline and you will see that the body is for Him who made it.
If you are wondering why of all her saying I chose these, it is because I needed to hear these particular few for my own spiritual nourishment and growth.
Amma Theodora knew what she was talking about. In particular I am going to write a post in the next few days on the topic of my own battle with accidie, when I get some time to sit down and collect my thoughts.