Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


3 Entries

Ease and idleness are the destruction of the soul and they can injure her more than the demons. St. Isaac of Syria

Let us awake from sleep, while we are still in the body, let us sign over ourselves and mourn over ourselves from our whole heart day and night, to be delivered from the terrible torment, groaning, weeping and anguish which will have no end. Let us beware of the wide gate and the broad way leading to destruction, although a great many go in thereat; but let us go in at the strait gate and the narrow way which lead unto life, and few there are which go through it. Those who follow the latter way are real doers, who receive the reward of their labors with joy and inherit the kingdom. As to those who are not yet quite ready to approach it, I implore them not to be negligent while there is time, lest in the hour of need they find themselves without oil and with no one who would agree to sell it. For this happened to the five foolish virgins who found no one from whom to buy it. Then they cried, weeping, "Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not" (Matthew 25: 11-12). And this happened to them for no other reason than laziness. Later they woke up and began to busy themselves, but it was of no avail, for the Master of the house got up and closed the door, as it is written. Anthony the Great, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, (London: Faber and Faber, 1954), pp. 52-54

When our good and all-gracious Lord and Master sees people too lazy in their exercises, He lays their flesh low with sickness, an asceticism with less toil; and sometimes it also cleanses the soul from evil thoughts or passions. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step26: On Discernment of Thoughts, Passions and Virtue

Redeeming the Time

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