We should realize that, as long as we’re in sin, that is, transgressing against Christ’s divine commandments, we can be as pious as we like, read all the prayers of the saints, the various hymns and the canons all day every day, it will get us nowhere.
Since the Lord Himself said, as a reproof and complaint: ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord” but not do as I say?’ In other words: ‘As long as you live in breach of my commandments, there’s no point in directing lots of long prayers towards me’.
Only one prayer is pleasing to Him: that is the practical prayer which consists in abandoning, with all our soul and forever, every breach of His holy commandments and becoming firm in His fear, carrying out every righteous task with spiritual joy and genuine love.
“Saint Maximus the Greek”
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