July 14

Fear of punishment hereafter and the suffering it engenders are beneficial to all who are starting out on the spiritual way. Whoever imagines that he can make a start without such suffering and fear, and without someone to inflict them, is not merely basing his actions on sand but thinks that he can build in the air without any foundations at all; and this of course is utterly impossible. Indeed, the suffering is the source of nearly all our joy, while the fear breaks the grip of all our sins and passions, and the one who inflicts these things brings us not death but eternal life.

~St Symeon the New Theologian

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