St Mark the AsceticDo good when you remember, and what you forget will be revealed to you; and do not surrender your mind to blind forgetfulness.

Scripture says: ‘Hell and perdition are manifest to the Lord’ (Prov. 15:11. LXX). This refers to ignorance of heart and forgetfulness.

Hell is ignorance, for both are dark; and perdition is forgetfulness, for both involve extinction.

Concern yourself with your own sins and not with those of your neighbour; then the workplace of your intellect will not be robbed.

Failure to do the good that is within your power is hard to forgive. But mercy and prayer reclaim the negligent.

To accept an affliction for God’s sake is a genuine act of holiness; for true love is tested by adversities.

Do not claim to have acquired virtue unless you have suffered affliction, for without affliction virtue has not been tested.

Consider the outcome of every involuntary affliction, and you will find it has been the destruction of sin.

Neighbors are very free with advice, but our own judgment is best.

If you want spiritual health, listen to your conscience, do all it tells you, and you will benefit.

God and our conscience know our secrets. Let them correct us.

He who toils unwillingly grows poor in every way, while he who presses ahead in hope is doubly rich.

Man acts so far as he can in accordance with his own wishes; but God decides the outcome in accordance with justice.

If you wish not to incur guilt when men praise you, first welcome reproof for your sins.

Each time someone accepts humiliation for the sake of Christ’s truth he will be glorified a hundredfold by other men. But it is better always to do good for the sake of blessings in the life to come.

When one man helps another by word or deed, let them both recognize in this the grace of God. He who does not understand this will come under the power of him who does.

[…] He who is ignorant of the enemy’s ambush is easily slain; and” he who does not know the causes of the passions is soon brought low.

Knowledge of what is good for him has been given to everyone by God; but self-indulgence leads to negligence, and negligence to forgetfulness.

A man advises his neighbor according to his own understanding; but in the one who listens to such advice, God acts in proportion to his faith.

Mark the Hermit (5th-6th c.): On The Spiritual Law, 60-78, 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. 114-115.

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