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The World is a Contest No. 2 (St Isaac the Syrian) | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

The World is a Contest No. 2 (St Isaac the Syrian) | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

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This world is a contest and a field for contest. This time is the time of struggle… The King lays no limit on his warriors until the contest is over; then every man will be brought to the doors of the King of Kings and there tried as to whether he has gained the victory in the contest, or has turned his back. There is only one law there: to watch and resist.

+ St Isaac the Syrian, Directions on Spiritual Training, Text 103


For the ancient fathers, a basic prerequisite for genuine growth in the spiritual life involves a constant attitude of nepsis or watchfulness.  The word nepsis (νήψις)in antiquity literally meant to drink no wine, but by extension it also included the metaphorical sense of being sober-minded, sane, alert, and finally vigilant.  If one desires to not be under the influence of the passions, if one wishes to not be drunk with anger, with envy, or with desire, one must spiritually speaking drink no wine. The ascetic fathers are also referred to as the neptic fathers. This watchfulness is paramount because as Saint Peter warns in his epistle, “Be sober (νήψατε), be vigilant (γρηγορήσατε meaning stay awake); because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  If you are drunk or asleep, you are obviously defenseless in the face of an attack.

- Archbishop ALEXIS (Trader) of Sitka, The Therapeutic Strategy of Nepsis

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Our posters are made in the USA with environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, and are printed on 176 gsm (65 lb) white cardstock. 

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