On the Delights of the Body and the Soul

St. Gregory the Dialogist ca. 540-604

There is this difference, Dearly Beloved Brethren, between the delights of the body and those of the soul, that the delights of the body, when we do not possess them, awaken in us a great desire for them; but when we possess them and enjoy them to the full they straight-away awaken in us a feeling of aversion. But spiritual delights work in the opposite way. While we do not possess them we regard them with dislike and aversion; but once we partake of them, the more do we hunger for them….For spiritual delights, when they fill the soul, increase in us the desire of them; and the more we savor them, the more we come to know what we should eagerly love.

And so we do not know these delights, because we have not come to savor them. For who can love what he does not know? Because of this the Psalmist speaks to us, and exhorts us, saying: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good‘ (Ps. 33: 9)! (Homily on Luke 14:16-24: The Supper of God and the Soul)