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Athos Monks[play]
Th. Vassilikos[play]

Aspiring toward righteousness and assiduity

11. One should not be speaking of the impossibility of leading a virtuous life but of the difficulties involved. It is certainly not attainable for everyone ó only those that are pious and have a God-loving mind can enter into a virtuous life. An ordinary mind is a worldly and an inconstant one; it gives birth to good and evil thoughts, it is capricious and prone toward the material while a God-loving mind castigates evil.

11. Those who lead their lives through small and minor ordeals, on the one hand rid themselves of danger, and on the other, have no need for special precautions against it. In conquering the various sinful inclinations, they auspiciously discover the path leading toward God.

11. People who have no congenital disposition toward good should not wring their hands in despair and spurn a God-loving and virtuous life, irrespective of how difficult it may be for them. They should contemplate this and apply their given abilities toward their own welfare ó because even though they will not be able to attain the pinnacles of virtue and perfection, they will become either better, or at least not become worse, which by itself is no small benefit for the soul.

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