August 1

Ascetic toil is initially painful for all those newly engaged in spiritual warfare; but for those exercised in the growth of virtue and who have reached the mid-point of their path, such toil is pleasurable and produces a strange sense of relief. When the mortal will of the flesh is swallowed up by the immortal life (2 Corinthians 5:4) conferred through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in those truly striving towards the perfection of virtue, they are filled with unspeakable joy and gladness, for a pure spring of tears has opened within them, and streams of sweet compunction flow down on them from above.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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