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Sinful habits, sorrows, temptations, humility


21. The devil presents minor sins as insignificant in our eyes, because otherwise he would not be able lead us into major ones.

21. Having allowed sin to enter into you (accepting the thought), donít say: it will not conquer me, because the extent that you have permitted it in is the degree to which it has conquered you.

21. Donít say: "What should I do? I donít want to, but it (forgetfulness) still comes." ó This is because you neglected your responsibilities when you knew of them.

21. When the mind, having been fortified in the Lord, diverts the soul away from prolonged bad habits, the heart is subjected to the executioner-like punishment of passions that drag it from one place to another.

21. He, who overindulged in requisite physical pleasures, will pay for this excess a hundred times over in a variety of torments.

21. A willful sinner finds it difficult to repent, knowing it is impossible to hide from Godís truth.

21. If anyone sins openly and does not repent ó having suffered no grief up to the day of his departure (from this life) ó then know that the judgement over him will be merciless.

21. A person that genuinely repents is subject to denigration by the foolish. But this should be a sign to him that his penitence is pleasing to God.

21. If a person falls into some type of sin and does not lament about this to the same depth as the measure of his crime, he will again fall into the enemyís snare.

28. Donít think that you have acquired virtue without sorrows; such virtue is unreliable (not experienced) by reason of its ease in acquiring it.

28. Having fulfilled a commandment, expect temptations; because love toward Christ is tested by difficulties.

28. If you want to free yourself of future sorrows, then endure present ones with willingness ó for in this way, you will mentally change one for the other, and through these small sorrows, avoid great sufferings.

28. Do not seek perfection (of the Law) in human virtues, because there is no perfection in them: its perfection is secreted in Christís cross.

28. Peopleís denouncements inflict pain on the heart, but sometimes are the reason for its cleansing who bears them.

28. Because of many heartfelt sorrows, Christís commandments, if fulfilled conscientiously, bestow solace. Moreover, one and the other come in their own time.

28. When, as a consequence of some insult you become irritated, do not grieve because it has mentally activated the concealed evil within you. Vanquish these thoughts that have sprung up in the knowledge that as they are destroyed when they arise, the evil underlying them that leads them toward action is also destroyed. If these thoughts are allowed to linger and appear often, then evil usually becomes stronger.

30. If you see someone praising you hypocritically, then expect rebuke from him at another time.

30. Having some type of spiritual gift, and commiserating with one who doesnít have it preserves such a gift. A haughty individual will lose this gift, having been stricken with conceited thoughts.

30. The lips of a humble individual speak the truth, while those that contradict them are like the servant that struck Christ on the cheek.

30. Do not exalt yourself because of your knowledge (borrowing) of the Gospel so as not to fall into blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

30. Do not attempt to solve dark and entangled deeds through the means of an argument, but through prayer and unshakeable hope.

30. Know beforehand that when you notice that your idea promises public acclaim, it undoubtedly is preparing you for humiliation.

30. If you want your sins to be absolved by Christ, then donít speak out before people about any virtue that you may have, because God will treat our sins the same way we treat our virtues.

30. If you notice that someone is extremely sick at heart, caused through dishonor, know that he is vain and is now unpleasantly reaping the harvest from the seeds that he himself had planted in his heart.

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