When you read Holy Scripture, perceive its hidden meanings. ‘For whatever was written in past times was written for our instruction’ (Rom. 15:4).
Scripture speaks of faith as ‘the substance of things hoped for’ (Heb. 11:1), and describes as ‘worthless’ those who do not know the indwelling of Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 13:5).
Just as a thought is made manifest through actions and words, so is our future reward through the impulses of the heart.
Thus a merciful heart will receive mercy, while a merciless heart will receive the opposite.
The law of freedom teaches the whole truth. Many read about it in a theoretical way, but few really understand it, and these only in the degree to which they practice the commandments.
Do not seek the perfection of this law in human virtues, for it is not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross of Christ.
The law of freedom is studied by means of true knowledge, it is understood through the practice of the commandments, and is fulfilled through the mercy of Christ.
When we are compelled by our conscience to accomplish all the commandments of God, then we shall understand that the law of the Lord is faultless (cf. Ps. 19:8. LXX).
It is performed through our good actions, but cannot be perfected by men without God’s mercy.
[…] God is the source of every virtue, as the sun is of daylight.
When you have done something good, remember the words ‘without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5).
Afflictions bring blessing to man; self-esteem and sensual pleasure, evil.
He who suffers injustice escapes sin, finding help in proportion to his affliction.
The greater a man’s faith that Christ will reward him, the greater his readiness to endure every injustice.
By praying for those who wrong us we overthrow the devil; opposing them we are wounded by him.
Distress reminds the wise of God, but crushes those who forget Him.
Let all involuntary suffering teach you to remember God, and you will not lack occasion for repentance.
Forgetfulness as such has no power, but acquires it in proportion to our negligence.
Do not say; ‘What can I do? I don’t want to be forgetful but it happens.’ For when you did remember, you cheated over what you owed.
Do good when you remember, and what you forget will be revealed to you; and do not surrender your mind to blind forgetfulness.
Mark the Hermit (5th-6th c.): On The Spiritual Law, 25-33, 40-45, 56-60, Text from G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware (trans. and eds.) The Philokalia: The Complete Text, vol. I (Faber & Faber, London & Boston: 1979), pp. 112-114.