November 21

The virtues are all equal and together reduce themselves to one, thus constituting a single principle and form of virtue. But some virtues–such as divine love, humility and divine patience–are greater than others, embracing and comprising as they do a large number or even all of the rest. With regard to patience the Lord says, ‘You will gain possession of your souls through your patient endurance’ (Luke 21:19).

He did not say ‘through your fasting’ or ‘through your vigils’. I refer to the patience bestowed by God, which is the queen of virtues, the foundation of courageous actions. It is patience that is peace amid strife, serenity amid distress, and a steadfast base for those who acquire it. Once you have attained it with the help of Christ Jesus, no swords and spears, no attacking armies, not even the ranks of demons, the dark phalanx of hostile powers, will be able to do you any harm.

~St Gregory of Sinai

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