Monday, September 1, 2014
Is it less grave to steal silver than gold, because silver is less valuable than gold? From the point of view of the victim, the loss of silver is less grave. But for the perpetration of the crime, there is no difference. To those who commit crimes, the sin lies in the attitude that causes the action, not the action itself. A person who can rob someone’s silver will not balk at the opportunity of stealing their gold. If he does not steal for a period, it is probably because no opportunity arises or because he is ill. Thus if a person is to change his actions, his attitudes must change first. And a person will only change his attitudes if he realizes that his present attitudes bring misery to himself, as well as to others. Thus we must appeal to his self-interest, showing that by harming others he is cutting himself off from human fellowship; and revealing to him that his heart is hungry for fellowship, not for gold and silver. If we show that the way of righteousness is also the way of happiness, then even the hardest of criminals will be eager to follow it.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Humble yourself, and from now on confess, for confession contains holy humility, without which no one is saved. The devil greatly rejoices when he manages to persuade a person to hide diabolical thoughts. This is because he will achieve his premeditated, soul-destroying goal.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Do not let your conscience prick you for long, but quickly give it whatever it wants, lest it take you to the judge and the prison (cf. Mt. 5:25). Does your conscience want you to attend to your prayer rule and regain prayer? Give it these things and behold, you are delivered from going to the judge. Do not weaken the saving voice of your conscience by disregarding it, because later you will regret it to no avail.
Monday, August 25, 2014
I have written to you about the conscience, that we must be careful not to do something that will make it reproach and condemn us. Bear in mind that God sees everything and that nothing is hidden from His eyes. So, how could I tell lies before God? Don’t you know that lies are from the devil and that by not being careful, it becomes a practice, then a habit, then a passion and don’t you know that liars will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Fear God. God is not pleased with material offerings when we neglect attending to our inner heart. But it is necessary to do these also without leaving the others undone (cf. Mt. 23:23).
Attend to your conscience, for we do not know the hour of our death. And if we do not repay our creditor (our conscience, that is) everything we owe him, he will accuse us vehemently, without holding back. Then—alas!—our mouth will be silenced, not having any answer to give.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Let us allow Christ to speak through us. He desires it more than we do. For He made this instrument and wouldn’t want it to be useless and idle. He always wants to keep it in His hands. Why, then, don’t you make it useful for the Maker’s hand? Why do you allow your soul to be unstrung, relaxed through luxury, and allow the whole harp to be useless to Him? One should keep all its parts completely stretched, well strung and reinforced with spiritual salt. For if Christ sees your soul tuned this way, He will make His music through it. When this has taken place, you will see angels leaping for joy—archangels and the cherubim, too. So then, let us become worthy of His spotless hands. Let us invite Him to strike our hearts.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Good and blessed is that simplicity which some have by nature, but better is that which has been goaded out of wickedness by hard work. The former is protected from much complexity and the passions, while the latter is the gateway to the greatest humility and meekness. There is not much reward for the one and no end of reward for the other.
If you wish to draw the Lord to you, approach Him as disciples to a master, in all simplicity, openly, honestly, without duplicity, without idle curiosity. He is simple and uncompounded. And He wants the souls that come to Him to be simple and pure. Indeed you will never see simplicity separated from humility.