January 1

Today’s great enemy of truth, drawing men to perdition, is delusion. As a result of this delusion, tenebrous ignorance rules the souls of all those sunk in lethargy and alienates them from God. Such people are as if unaware that there exists a God who gives us rebirth and illumination, or they assume that we can believe in Him and know Him only in a theoretical way and not through our actions, or else they imagine that He has revealed Himself only to the people of former times and not to us also; and they pretend that the scriptural texts about God are applicable only to the original authors, or to others, but not to themselves.

Thus they blaspheme the teaching about God, and read the Scriptures only in a literal…manner; denying the possibility that man even in this life can be resurrected through the resurrection of his soul, they choose to remain in the grave of ignorance.

Delusion consists of three passions: lack of faith, guile and sloth. These generate and support each other: lack of faith sharpens the wits of guile, and guile goes hand in hand with sloth, which expresses itself outwardly in laziness. Or conversely, sloth may beget guile–did not the Lord say, “You cunning and lazy servant” (Matthew 25:26)?–and guile mothers lack of faith. For if you are full of guile you lack faith, and if you lack faith you stand in no awe of God. From such lack of faith comes sloth, which begets contempt; and when you are full of contempt you scorn all goodness and practice every kind of wickedness.

~St Gregory of Sinai

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