An excellent article by Father Alexis Trader on the importance of Watchfulness in the Christian Life
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.
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