September 3

Everyone, then, who through self-restraint does away with sensual pleasure, which is intricate, convoluted and intertwined in many ways with every sensible object, makes the crooked straight. And he who with patience withstands and defeats the harsh implacable bouts of suffering turns the rough places into smooth ways. Thus, when a person has well and truly struggled, has defeated sensual pleasure with desire for virtue, has overcome pain with love for spiritual knowledge, and through both virtue and knowledge has bravely persevered to the end of the divine contest, he will see, according to Scripture, ‘the salvation of God’: and this will be his reward for virtue and for the efforts he has made to attain it (Isaiah 40:4-5).

~St Maximos the Confessor

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