“God is the universal Father of all, extending His love to us as His true children. He cannot bear to see us trapped in wickedness and need, yearning for the comforting embrace of His mercy. Instead, He eagerly awaits our prayers, lending an attentive ear to the sound of our voices as we utter His holy name.”
“What benefit is there in a malnourished body, while the soul remains burdened with transgressions? Is there any gain in appearing pale and emaciated from fasting, while our hearts are consumed by envy and animosity? And what profit is there in abstaining from wine, only to intoxicate ourselves with the venom of anger? Likewise, refraining from consuming meat serves little purpose if we tear into the flesh of our brethren with curses. Why forsake certain liberties temporarily, while indulging in behaviors that are perpetually forbidden? For God loves and honors those who abstain from what is forbidden.”
“Among all nations, who else blasphemes against the law, the cross, the Eucharist, the departed, the memorial, the candle, the soul, the grave, the koliva, the prosphora, confession, baptism, marriage, and all the sacred rites of the Holy Church? Are we not, in fact, defying God Himself through such actions? Do we not scorn His commandments by engaging in these behaviors?”
“But what shall I say about the great insensitivity of the people of this age? Everyone suffers, everyone is in distress, everyone groans under the heavy yoke of necessity. Yet, how many are willing to echo the sentiments of David and declare, “To the Lord, when I was troubled, I cried out”? How often do individuals, amidst their afflictions, beseech God, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, and listen to my plea”?
“May we resist the allure of worldly vanities, as they are all fleeting and deceptive in nature. Let us abstain from acts of violence, from engaging in fornication, adultery, excessive drinking, and indulgence. Furthermore, let us not harbor grudges against one another, nor betray our brethren through slander, malicious intent, and callousness, seeking to harm and impoverish one another.”
“When confessing our sins, let us refrain from disclosing to our spiritual guides that we consume the flesh and labor of our fellow Christians, greedily partaking of their blood and the sweat of their toil with insatiable desires. Instead, we speak of our adherence to dietary restrictions, such as consuming fish and oil on Wednesdays and Fridays, or partaking of wine during times of fasting.”
“Let us not boast in our hearts about any good deeds we do, for we will lose the reward of our labor. Let us be cautious and avoid all things that are evil and unseemly, which harm our souls and bring joy to our enemy, the devil. Instead, let us always desire to do good and pleasing deeds to God, for they remain immortal, and we will receive our reward in heaven for them.”
“It is fitting to first abandon wickedness, theft, deceit, abomination, hatred, and envy, and then we shall pray, for it is then that we will find God’s ears attentive to us.”