Spiritual Insight: Evil and Sin
A lie is a delusion of the mind, while evil is a delusion of the will. The sign by which one is distinguished from the other is the judgment of God Himself … that which he teaches a man: Truth is that which leads a man to will the good. But whatever contradicts this is entirely false, entirely evil.
– St. Nicholas Cabasilas, Seven Sermons on the Life in Christ, 7
Our world is guided by two principles and sources: God and the devil. All that is better in the world of men has its source in God, and all that is bad has the devil as its principle and source. In the final account, all good comes from God, and all evil from the devil.
-St. Justin Popovich, Explanation of I John 3:11
Food is not evil, but gluttony is. Childbearing is not evil, but fornication is. Money is not evil, but avarice is. Glory is not evil, but vainglory is. Indeed, there is no evil in existing things, but only in their misuse.
-St. Maximus the Confessor, Chapters on Love, 3.4
God and the devil are found at opposite poles. No one can turn his face to God who has not first turned his back on sin. When a man turns his face to God, all of his paths lead to God. When a man turns his face away from God, all of his paths lead to perdition. When a man finally rejects God by word and in his heart, he is no longer fit to do anything that does not serve for his complete destruction, both of his soul and of his body.
-St. Nicholas of Serbia, Thoughts on Good and Evil
March 28, 2018
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