Let us imitate John the Baptist: leaving luxury and drunkenness, let us go over to the life of restraint.
For surely this is the time of confession both for the uninitiated and for the baptized: for the uninitiated, so that they may share in the sacred mysteries after their repentance; for the baptized, so that, having washed away their stain after baptism, they may approach the table with a clear conscience.
Then let us leave this soft and indolent way of living. It is not possible—it just isn’t—to do penance and live in luxury at the same time. Let John teach you this by his clothes, by his food, by his home.
“Do you really require us to practice self-restraint like that?” you might ask. No, I don’t require it—but I do recommend it.
But if that isn’t possible for you, then let us at least show our repentance, even if we live in cities. For the judgment is surely at our door. But even if it were further away, we still shouldn’t be made bolder by that. For the end of everyone’s life is just like the end of the world to the one who is called.
Based on Saint John Chrysostom
The photos depict an ascetic place of prayer in a tree, deep inside in the Athonite forest.