Abstinence, fast, vigils, the leaving of the worldly things and all the rest are means, my son, for reaching the purity of the heart. And from the virtues which lead to the purity of the heart the greatest of all is love.
Therefore, our aim is to reach the purity of heart. If there is no purity, God can`t be seen, He doesn`t show up. Saint Paul the Apostle says:
` Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.`.
All these attributes saint Paul the Apostle preaches with voicde of thunder show how much the man progressed in virtue.
At the beginning the farmer cleans his field of stones and thorns and he plows it, he sows it then he wait for God to send rain, sun and winds. And all these have a single purpose to harvest the wheat and delight of its fruitage
The merchant goes far away, he risks his life in storms, he faces different dangers in the aim of increasing his richness and finding delight in it.
The monk must endure the absence of his parents and brothers and of his relatives, he deprives himself of rest, he keeps vigils, he prays, he obeys, he struggles with his thoughts. What is the purpose of all these? To reach the purity of heart and see God. If he doesn`t purify himself he can`t see God.
Negustorul merge departe, se primejduiește de furtuni, trece prin diferite primejdii cu scopul de a‑și mări bogăţia sa, iar din aceasta să dobândească desfătare.
What is God? God is love? Thus the person who doesn`t have a pure spiritual love can`t know the divine
 I Corinthians 13, 4‑8.
Excerpt from Fatherly counsels– Archimandrite Ephrem Philotheos, Evanghelismos, 2015.