September 28

If you patiently carry out the commandments in accordance with your outer and your inner self, and look only to the glory of God, you will be given the honor of heavenly knowledge, peace of soul and incorruptibility; for you carry out, and do not simply hear, the law of grace (cf. James 1:25). God will not condemn your knowledge, since your actions will bear witness to it. On the contrary, He will glorify it through the words of knowledge spoken by those who by virtue of His wisdom shine as beacons in the Church of the faithful; for God is ‘impartial’ (Romans 2:11).

If on the other hand your endeavors are prompted by selfish ambition and you reject the teachings of those inspired by the Holy Spirit, trusting in your own understanding and in the deceptive words of those clad merely in the outward forms of piety and incited by a vainglorious and hedonistic spirit, then you will be filled with affliction and anguish, with envy, anger and animosity (cf. Romans 2:8-9). Such will be the immediate reward for your delusion, and such at your death–when God judges the secrets of men and renders to each according to his actions (cf. Romans 2:6)–will be the sentence for your mutually self-accursing, self-defending thoughts.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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