Spiritual Insight: Vigilance and Love
St. Peter of Damaskos:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16), and no one can thwart someone who wishes to be saved. Only God who made us has power over us, and He is ready to help and protect from every temptation those who cry out to Him and to do His holy will.
All of the Scriptures are inspired by God and thus help bring us closer to Him and to salvation. If we want salvation it is ours—but we must want it above all else. We must be careful and vigilant, that we do not allow anyone or anything to keep us from our God. Only God has sovereign power over us, unless we reject Him. He is always there for us. If we desire to be with God He will be with us. We must also be aware that we can be our own worst enemies. Do not allow other people or thoughts or philosophies to lead away from God. Other people or other opinions can have power over us only if we allow it.
AND from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, St. Anthony the Great:
He also said, “Our life and death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained Christ, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.
St. Anthony reminds us of our responsibility to not only witness Christ but to incarnate Him. If we treat our neighbor with love and respect—if we treat our neighbor as if they were Christ—we gain them as our brother or sister. To gain or treat someone as our brother and sister is to the same as if we had done it to Christ. Remember the Gospel Lesson from Judgment (Meatfare) Sunday; Matthew 25:31-56—“…if you have done this to least of these my brethren you have done it to Me”. The opposite is also true…if as Christians we scandalize someone “we have sinned against Christ”. Ours is a great responsibility, to ourselves and to others. If we desire salvation and embrace the truth of our Lord it will be ours; nothing can impede us. We also have the awesome responsibility to be the image or face of Christ to our neighbor.
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