July 30

Unless through the labor of repentance and assiduous ascetic practice we first restore the soul’s powers to the state in which they were when God originally formed Adam and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7), we will never be able to know ourselves; nor will we be able to acquire a disposition that is master of the passions, free from arrogance, not over-curious, guileless, simple, humble, without jealously or malice, and that takes every thought captive and makes it obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Nor will our soul be enkindled with God’s love, never transgressing the bounds of self-control, but content with what is given to it and longing for the serenity of the saints. And if we do not achieve such a state we can never acquire a heart that is gentle, peaceful, free from anger, kind, uncontentious and filled with mercy and joy; for our soul will be divided against itself and because of the turbulence of its powers will remain impervious to the rays of the Spirit.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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