January 17

If, then, the time of this life is time for repentance, the very fact that a sinner still lives is a pledge that God will accept whoever desires to return to Him. Free will is always part and parcel of this present life. And it lies within the power of free will to choose or to reject the road of life or the road of death that we have described above; for it can pursue whichever it wishes.

Where, then, are the grounds for despair, since all of us can at all times lay hold of eternal life whenever we want to? Do you not perceive the grandeur of God’s compassion? When we are disobedient He does not immediately condemn us, but He is longsuffering and allows us time for conversion. Throughout this period of longsuffering He gives us power to gain divine sonship if we so wish. Yet why do I say ‘gain sonship’? He gives us power to be united with Him and to become one spirit with Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:17).

~St Gregory Palamas (Philokalia vol.4, p. 299)

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