MARK THE ASCETIC

1. He who is humble and engaged in spiritual work will apply everything to himself and not to someone else

2. Better a human than a demonic sin. Through performing the Lord’s will we overcome both.

3.  When harmed, insulted or persecuted by someone, do not think of the present but wait for the future, and you will find he has brought you much good, not only in this life but also in the life to come.

4.  Just as water and fire cannot be combined, so self-justification and humility exclude one another.

5.  If you wish to be saved, welcome words of truth, and never reject criticism uncritically

6.  Wickedness is an intricate net; if someone is careless when partially entangled, he gets completely enmeshed.

7.  He who does not persevere in examining his conscience will not endure bodily suffering for God’s sake.

8.  A man who is enticed by sinful thoughts is blinded by them, and he sees the action of sin in himself, but he can not see the cause of this action.
( Homilies, 1.168)

9.  84: “For knowledge without actionpuffs up‘ but ‘love edifies’,  because it patiently accepts all things’  (1.Cor.8:11, 13:7)”

     85: Understand the words of the Holy Scripture by putting them into practice, and do not fill yourself with conceit by expatiating on theoretical ideas.

(The Philokalia: On the spiritual law .)

10.  He who hopes, will be harmed if he recalls all his sins, one by one.
The sorrow which will come with their remembrance, will drive away hope; if, again, he remembers his sins without feeling any sorrow, it is as though he is repeating them.
When your nous forsakes itself, and succeeds in clinging exclusively to hope, then the enemy — under the pretext of confession — will remind it of past sins, so that it might awaken passions which the person had forgotten ( through God’s grace), and in this sly fashion, harm him. Because even a strong person, or one who is averse to passions, will become distressed with the things he has done, and his conscience will inevitably be clouded.
The one who still lives in the fog, and is still perceptive to sensuality, will relive the same passions, in such a way, that the remembrance of past sins will prove to be a contamination, and not a confession.
A prudent man who is aware of the truth does not confess to God by numbering the sins he has committed, but by patiently accepting the painful consequences of those sins.

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