God is the source of every virtue, as the sun is of daylight. So, when you have done something good, remember the words ‘without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
Being in a sinful state, afflictions bring blessing to man; self-esteem and sensual pleasure, bring evil.
He who suffers injustice escapes sin, finding help in proportion to his affliction. The greater a man’s faith that Christ will reward him, the greater his readiness to endure every injustice.
By praying for those who wrong us we overthrow the devil; opposing them we are wounded by him. It is better to be mocked by humans than by demons. Through performing the Lord’s will, we overcome both.
Every blessing comes from the Lord providentially but this fact escapes the notice of the ungrateful and the idle.
Every vice leads in the end to forbidden pleasure and every virtue to spiritual blessing. Each arouses what is akin to it. So, censure from men afflicts the heart but if patiently accepted it generates purity.
Based on Saint Mark the Ascetic
A monk gathering zucchini
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