August 17

Reformation of life, angelic worship, the willing separation of the soul from the body, and the beginning of divine renewal in spirit–these are proclaimed in the veiled language of the New Testament. For instance, by the term ‘spiritual circumcision’ Scripture denotes the excision of the soul’s impassioned attachment to the body (Philippians 3:3 & Colossians 2:11).

It is entirely fitting and just that those who gladly accept the devil’s cunning suggestions to commit sins through their own volition should also be chastised by him. For through the passions to which we willingly accede, the devil is the begetter of pleasure, and through the experiences that we suffer against our will he is the inflicter of pain.

~St Maximos the Confessor

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