What sun will melt the snow from the summits of your souls, O sons of men, and cleanse your earthliness?


The snows melt on the mountain when the sun shines, and the streams flow to cleanse the earth. What sun will melt the snow from the summits of your souls, O sons of men, and cleanse your earthliness?

Sin has made your souls as stiff as icy frost. Like last year's snow, upon which new snow falls, so does your sin of last year and the years before lie dead-still, providing a bed for the sin of today and tomorrow.

You would have no sins, if you had no sinfulness; if you did not have sinful souls, you would have no sins. Snow would not be able to remain on the mountain, if the earth were warm; if the earth were warm and if the cold fog that hides the sun were to dissipate, the snow would be unable to remain either on the mountain or in the valley.

The cold ground and the cold fog are piling up snow upon snow and ice upon ice between you and your sun.

Who will absolve your sins, and who will thaw your icy hatefulness?

In vain do you yourselves forgive your own sins. By forgiving your own sins you make ice out of the snow, providing an even smoother bed for new snow.

The light of the triradiate Godhead alone can absolve your sins, just as the sun alone can melt the snow on the mountain, thaw the snow and ice, and bring forth flowers out of the black earth.

"Your sins are forgiven you, arise!"1 Do you know, O man, the One who has the authority to restore your health with these sweet words? I assure you that you will not find or meet Him on earth, even if you were to scour the entire world.

Even if you were to scour all the planets that orbit around the sun, you would not find Him. For He is not from earth, and the earth does not sustain Him.2

He is the Celestial Man and the Savior of your soul. He is far away from anyone who forgives himself his own sins, but He is near, very near to anyone who despises his sins and cries out to heaven to blot them out.

His mind is purer than sunlight, and His word is more searing than the sun. He melts the snow off the soul of man and induces flowers to grow. All those thick layers of snow and ice can be melted by Him, and all the earth can be cleansed by Him. Call upon Him from the depths of your soul, and He will come.

When He exclaims: "Your sins are forgiven" - your soul, now benumbed by the burden of sins, will become nimble and mobile, and the paralysis of the body will vanish.

The sins of the soul are the wounds of the soul. How can the body be healthy with a wounded soul?

A madman says: "Look at my neighbor, an inveterate sinner, and see how his body blossoms with good health! Surely the sin of the soul does not harm the body," says one who is out of his mind.

Just wait, madman, just wait a little longer, until the dung of the soul emerges from the body. Then you will shut your mouth and flee from sins as though you were fleeing fetid putridity. Wait until a worm devours the inside of an apple, and you will be distressed to see its outside all faded and pale.

Then you too will stand with the lepers along the road and cry out like a man near death: "O Son of God, have mercy on me!"3

And then you will hear -- and understand those salvation-­bearing words: "Your sins are forgiven; go in peace!"

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1. Matt. 9:2-8.
2. John 8:23.
3. Luke 17:12-19.

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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