The Lord gave his disciples important recommendations so that they might shake off everything earthly in their nature like dust and might thus be raised to desire for supernatural realities. According to one of these recommendations, those who turn towards the life on high must be stronger than sleep and always remain watchful… I am talking about the drowsiness that arises among those who are plunged in life’s lie through illusory dreams such as honors, riches, power, pomp, the fascination of pleasure, ambition, the thirst for enjoyment, vanity and everything that their imaginations lead superficial people to seek after madly.
All these things pass away with the fleeting nature of time; they belong to the domain of appearances… Hardly have they seemed to exist when they disappear like the waves of the sea… So that our minds might be free of these illusions, the Word invites us to shake this deep sleep from the eyes of our soul, so that we might not slip away from the true realities by becoming attached to that which has no consistency.
That is why he suggests that we be watchful when he says: “Let your belts be fastened around your waists and your lamps be burning ready.” (Lk 12:35) For when the light shines before our eyes, it chases sleep away, and when our loins are held tight by a belt, they prevent the body from succumbing to it… The person who has fastened on the belt of temperance lives in the light of a pure conscience; the trust of a child illuminates his life like a lamp… If we live in this way, we will enter a life like that of the angels.
St. Gregory of Nyssa