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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana









The Pharisees were condemned by Christ, not because they preached the wrong doctrines or heresies but, because they did not practice the right doctrines they were preaching.

When a doctrine or a command is given by one who does not practice what he preaches, the teaching is difficult, if not impossible, to put into practice. What makes it a great burden is the fact that the one who preaches does not follow it himself.

On the other hand, when a teaching or a command is given by one who practices what he preaches, the command is easy to execute due to the good example of the preacher.

He who preaches without practicing what he preaches is laying a heavy burden on others. He who practices what he preaches gives a burden that is light and sweet.

Practicing what one preaches is commonly called good works; it is what is required for salvation.

At the last judgment, God will not judge man by the evil he did; but by the good he did not do: "I was hungry and you did not give me to eat." He who preaches but does not practice what he preaches is one who preaches good but does not do good. The "practice" is what counts. "Not all who say, Lord, Lord. . . but he who does the will of my Father in heaven."

Why did the Pharisees do their seemingly good works? For love of honor: "They love the places of honor and greetings. . .Rabbi." They exerted much effort to be called spiritual fathers but have fathered no one spiritually.

They wished to be called spiritual teachers but have not taught anyone spiritually. It is God who really fathers and teaches, so even if others address you with such titles, do not exert effort to be called so. He who practices what he preaches will produce good disciples; he who does not practice will receive woes in that their disciples will easily be inclined to evil.

Blessed Theophylact




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