The thrust of the quotes seems to be instructions about cutting off our improper desires. The Old person wants to rest when God has given them the command to struggle for virtue. I mean how often do we struggle and want to stay in bed instead of doing our prayer rule, or get tired of trying to control our anger or fight bad thoughts? So in these cases we need to sacrifice our own desires and impulses of our soul and struggle to keep our peace and remain Christ centered.
Dear friends, let us, therefore, examine ourselves whether each of us performs our commandments according to our ability, or not, for we are all obliged to perform them according to our ability, the small among us in accordance with his slightness and the great in accordance with his grandeur.
I think that in the second quote, "look after our soul" means how we can tend to nurture and protect sinful or self-willed impulses of the soul, like how we can hold a grudge or cling to judgmental thoughts, or pursuing things that pat our self-image, over-indulgence etc. instead of letting these things go and practicing self-effacement and self-restraint, such as is mentioned in the following.
There are four virtues which purify the soul: silence, keeping the commandments, <spiritual> constraint, and humility.
The intellect always needs the following four virtues: praying to God by constantly prostrating oneself before him, surrendering before God, being unconcerned with everyone in order not to judge, and being deaf to the passions which speak to it.
Four virtues fortify the soul, allowing it to breathe from the disturbance of the enemy: mercy, freedom from anger, long-suffering, and shaking off every seed coming from sin. Resisting forgetfulness protects all of these.
There are four virtues which, after God himself, assist the beginner: constant study, resoluteness, vigil, and disregard of oneself.
Edited by Anna Stickles, 17 November 2014 - 01:47 PM.