Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

labor

4 Entries

An old man said, "The reason why we do not make progress is because we do not know our own measure, and we do not persevere in the work we undertake, and we want to acquire virtue without labor." The Desert Fathers



What we need is a little labor! Let us endure this labor that we may obtain mercy. St. John of Kronstadt

What we need is a little labor! Let us endure this labor that we may obtain mercy. If someone has some land but neglects it and leaves it untilled, he finds it produces thorns and thistles in proportion to his neglect. When he does not come to clean it, the more it is infested with these weeds the more his hands will bleed when he wants to pull up what he allowed to grow in the time of his neglect. It is impossible for a man not to reap what he sows. A man who wants to sow his field must first thoroughly uproot all the weeds. For if one does not pull out the roots properly but cuts off the tops only, they spring up again. If a man wants to be sure that he has pulled up all the roots, after ridding [the field] of briars and all kinds of weeds, he must plough it, and break it up and till it and finally sow it with good seed. For if, after giving it all this careful attention, he allows it to lie fallow, fresh weeds arrive, and finding the soil soft and well-tilled, they will push their roots down deep and grow even stronger and more numerous. So it is with the soul. St. Dorotheos of Gaza, Discourses and Saying

It takes much time to make a moral virtue effective in ourselves, while what has been achieved with so much time and effort can be lost in a single instant. REF:St. Peter Damaskos, "24 Discourses:Joy" - from G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware, Trans., "The Philokalia -- Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 260 - 263.





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