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Yearning toward goodness.


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 temptation.

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."

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