Wednesday, February 09, 2005

From the Fathers

We claim that we desire the Kingdom of Heaven, and yet we neglect those things that ensure we could gain entry there. And although we make no effors to fulfill the Lord's commands, we still imagine in our foolishness that we will receive the same honors as those who have fought against sin right up to their death. Who has ever stayed at home doing nothing at harvest time and managed to fill his arms with bundles of corn? Who has ever gathered grapes from the vine he has not planted or worked hard for? Those who have worked receive the fruits. Those who are victorious are crowned. And who would begin to consider crowning anyone who had not even got ready to face his opponent? For we must not neglect even the smallest details of our instructions, but carry out our orders to the letter. For it is said,"Blessed is that servant whom the Lord finds," not doing anything but,"so doing." --St. Basil the Great

(From A Journey Through Great Lent, ed. Rev. Stephen Belonick)

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