March 6

Finally, after long labors and exertions, The Christian principles appear victorious, reigning without opposition; they penetrate the whole composition of human nature, dislodging from it, demands and inclinations hostile to themselves, and place it in a state of passionlessness and purity, making it worthy of the blessedness of the pure in heart–to see God in themselves, in sincerest communion with Him.

Such is the place in us of the Christian life. This life has three stages which may be called: 1. turning to God; 2. purification or self-amendment; 2. sanctification.

In the first stage a man turns from darkness to light, from the domain of Satan to God; in the second, he cleanses the chamber of his heart from every impurity, in order to receive Christ the Lord Who is coming to him; in the third, the Lord comes, takes up His abode in his heart, and communes with him. This is the state of blessed communion with God–the goal of all labors and ascetic endeavors.

~St Theophan the Recluse

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