January 13

Let us then, like those living in the world, devote at least a small part of the day and night to God; and let us consider what we are going to say in our defense before our righteous Judge on the terrible day of judgment. Let us trouble over this, for it is essential in view of the threat of agelong punishment; and let us not be troubled about how we shall live if we are poor or how we can grow rich so as to give alms, thus stupidly devoting all our attention to worldly matters. We have to work, St John Chrysostom says; but we need not concern or trouble ourselves about many things, as our Lord told Martha (Luke 10:41). For concern with this life prevents that concern with one’s own soul and its state which is the purpose of the man who devotes himself to God and is attentive to himself. It is said in the Law, “Be attentive to yourself” (Deuteronomy 15:9). St Basil the Great has written about this text with marvelous wisdom.

~St Peter of Damaskos

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