11. Everyone that desires salvation must not only
avoid evil, but is obliged to do good, just as it says in the Psalm: "Depart
from evil and do good" (Psalm 34:14). For example, if somebody was
angry, he must not only not get angry, but also become meek; if somebody was
proud, he must not only refrain from being proud but also become humble. Thus,
every passion has an opposing virtue: pride ó humility, stinginess ó charity,
lust ó chastity, faintheartedness ó patience, anger ó meekness, hatred ó love.
11. Donít think that the virtue is beyond your
strength and is unrealizable for you, but having enlivened yourself with prayer
and laid the beginnings, present your good efforts before God ó and you will
see what help He will give you to accomplish your virtuous deeds. Imagine two
ladders: one leading upward to Heaven while the other,
down toward hell and you are standing on the ground between them. Do not think
and do not say how can you fly up from earth and find yourself in Heaven i.e.
on top of the ladder. Just beware of going down by committing evil. Try to rise
little by little, doing any good, which comes along. Your every good deed will
be a step upwards. Thus, rising from one level to another ó with Godís help,
you will eventually reach the top of the ladder.
13. He, who performs a deed that is pleasing to
God, will undoubtedly be visited by temptation: because every good deed is
either preceded or followed by temptation. In fact, everything a person does
for Godís sake cannot be called substantial, until it has been proven through
13. Just like a shadow follows a body, so does
temptation follow good deeds ó for no one will enter the Kingdom
of Heaven without temptation. Thus, endure without anxiety and pray
ó the good Lord will reward you for your diligence and patience.
13. You must travel along the passage mentioned by
the Fathers: "Give blood and receive the Spirit."
Return to the first page