December 8

Stillness requires above all faith, patience, love with all one’s heart and strength and might (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5), and hope. For if you have faith, even though because of negligence or some other fault you fail to attain what you seek in this life, you will on leaving this life most certainly be vouchsafed the fruit of faith and spiritual struggle and will behold your liberation, which is Jesus Christ, the redemption and salvation of souls, the Logos who is both God and man. But if you lack faith, you will certainly be condemned on leaving this world. In fact, as the Lord says, you are condemned already (cf. John 3:18). For if you are a slave to sensual pleasure, and want to be honored by other people rather than by God (cf. John 5:44), you lack faith, even though you may profess faith verbally; and you deceive yourself without realizing it. And you will incur the rebuke: “Because you did not receive Me in your heart but cast Me out behind your back, I too will reject you” (cf. Ezekiel 5:11).

If you possess faith you should have hope, and believe in God’s truth to which the whole of Scripture bears witness, and confess your own weakness; otherwise you will inescapably receive double condemnation.

~St Gregory of Sinai

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