December 16

The man engaged in ascetic practice cannot rise above ethical propriety, unless he goes beyond the natural law–as Abraham went forth from his own land–and beyond his own limited state of development–as Abraham left his kinsman (Genesis 12:1). In this way, as a mark of God’s approval, he will be liberated from the all-embracing hold of pleasure; for it is this veil of pleasure, wrapped around us from our birth, that prevents us from receiving complete freedom.

~Ilias the Presbyter

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