[Prayers] [bsummary]

Lessons by our Holy Fathers

[Lessons by our Holy Fathers] [twocolumns]

Orthodox Destinations

[Orthodox Destinations] [bleft]

Abbot Nikon: Everybody has an insolvent debt before God.

The closer one is to God in reality -- and not simply in one's imagination -- the more one feels unworthy and sinful, more sinful than anyone else. 

The Holy Fathers felt this way. There are many examples of this. The publican considered himself a sinner for altogether other reasons. Nevertheless, he realized his sinful state and did not try to justify himself. He asked only for mercy and forgiveness of the Lord, and he received it. 

Everybody has an insolvent debt before God. No amount of ascetic struggles can repay this debt. The Lord Himself says: If you do all that is demanded of you (that is, follow all the commandments), consider yourselves unprofitable servants whose duty it is to fulfill the master's order (Luke 17:10). How necessary it is for us, who constantly break the commandments, to keep the same disposition of soul as the publican: not to look for virtues in ourselves. Regardless of any spiritual labors we might undertake, we shall always remain abominable slaves. Only by the mercy of God, those who repent are forgiven and are vouchsafed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Abbot Nikon
Letters to Spiritual Children
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