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VIRTUE AND VICE


 

 

MEETING THE BRIDEGROOM

Blessed  are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Purity of heart leads to perfection.

Two things are contained in the heart: the desire for goodness which is natural to it and the desire for evil which is unnatural. This latter gives rise to such passions as murmurings, envy, detraction, etc. The former promotes knowledge of God and rids the soul of all these passions. 

If the Christian soul repents with tears and sighs, devoting himself humbly to a life of prayer, fasting and good works, God, in His goodness, will come to his aid and free him from all sinful inclinations.

Many who have lived celibate monastic lives have failed to attain purity of heart because, instead of following the will of God, they have followed their own wayward desires. Open to the attacks of the evil one, their hearts are filled with pride, vanity, jealousy, criticism, raging anger, strife, and other passions. 

These are likened to the foolish virgins who have spent their time foolishly. They have not controlled their tongues nor their eyes nor their bodies; they have not cleansed their hearts of lust and other deplorable defilements. These are deserving of the bridegroom's words;  "I know you not."

We must beware of entering through the wide gate and taking the easy road that leads to perdition, for many go that way. Instead we must enter by the narrow gate and take the path of sorrow and afflictions that leads to life. Few people enter this gate.

If you should set out on this narrow gate, do not delay or waste time lest you find no one to sell oil. . .and all because of your laziness.

St. Anthony the Hermit

  

 

 

(11-18-02)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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