Every newborn human is a new mirror of God, slightly clouded by the sin of disobedience. That slight haze on the soul of a newborn human is represented by the various evil inclinations of humanity, as disobedience to God is manifested in all other sins, bad habits, weaknesses, and passions. That slight haze on the soul of every newborn signifies a particular inclination towards evil.

Therefore, with the existence of a great number of inclinations towards evil, there are also a great number of people, life situations, and human tragedies.

However, God is just with every individual. Knowing the haze on each soul, He places each person in a life circumstance where the haze can be most easily dispelled by light. If that haze represents an inclination towards pride, God will place the newborn soul in a very humble state, so that the soul becomes accustomed to humility and can be healed from the pride that endangers it.

Likewise, if the soul is inclined towards self-love, God places it in a position where it can readily sacrifice for the well-being of others, be it a large family, society, or country.

If the soul is prone to despair, God positions it in a dynamic environment where opportunities for despair are scarce.

And if the soul leans towards sensual pleasures, God places it where such pleasures are not easily attainable.

That is why often it seems to us that no one is in their rightful place in the world; that is why a merchant resembles more a policeman, and a policeman resembles a merchant; an officer resembles a monk, and a monk resembles an officer; a servant resembles an emperor, and an emperor resembles a servant; a Pope resembles a prince, and a prince resembles a Pope.

However, regardless of circumstances, day and night, God stands in service to every soul, providing His remedies full of grace against its measure of evil. The more difficult a place God assigns to a person, the richer the help He bestows in grace!

Yet, when people become dissatisfied with the state in which God has placed them, they commit once again the sin of Adam, the sin of disobedience; then the passion with which they were born begins to grow rapidly and overwhelm them.

As the passion intensifies in an individual, their soul starts to resemble the nature of that passion – be it a cat, a dog, a wolf, a fox, or any other animal.

And if a passion comes to dominate a person entirely, then the person surpasses in evil the image of that passion in nature. The cat-person becomes more self-loving than the cat; the dog-person becomes greedier than the dog; the wolf-person becomes crueler than the wolf; the fox-person becomes more cunning than the fox, and so forth.

I share this not only for you to know, but for you to examine yourself and to discover the weakness with which you were born and how much disobedience to God you have allowed, causing that weakness to overwhelm you.

Because when the time comes for you to depart from the body, the soul, now hidden beneath the mask of the body, will reveal itself in the form of that wild beast which you have nurtured within.

Excerpt from Thoughts on Good and Evil – Saint Nikolai Velimirovich, Predania Publishing House

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