Deliver my soul from self-delusion


 

Deliver my soul from self-delusion, my God, so that my body may also be delivered from bodily sin.

Deliver my soul from foolish arrogance and burning anger, and my body will neither behave foolishly nor burn.

The soul designed the body to be a portrait of herself, to be the organ of her speech. The body is mute and inert, either for good or for evil, if the soul will not speak.

The body knows nothing of adultery, if the soul does not tell it. Adultery is carried out in the heart; the body only repeats in its clumsy way what has been woven with fine threads in the mysterious chambers of the heart.1

My neighbors, look upon a woman the way a woman looks upon herself and self-delusion will fall from your eyes like scales.2 look upon every being from within that being, and you will look, not with desire, but with compassion. You, O God, have sanctified marriage, and You have also sanctified celibacy.3

Those, who have the wisdom and the strength to use all the life bestowed on them by You for serving You, You have blessed.

And those, who are unable to keep within themselves all the life given to them, You have blessed, so that they can share it and transfer it to new beings, through a wife.

Truly it is self-delusion for a man to think that a woman attracts him. Indeed, it is the unused life in a man -- which drives a man toward a woman, for life does not wish to remain unused. You are life, O my God, and life is light. You are light, O my God, and You do not wish to be hidden in darkness and kept from shining.

Blessed is the man, who knows You within himself, and gives free rein to You to shine in his soul and in his body.

It is not important, whether you shine in one body or in shared flesh -- You merely wish to shine and illuminate the world and to fill it with Your life and Your strength.

Blessed is the woman from whose eyes self-delusion falls and who knows a man the way a man knows himself, the woman who rejects desire and fills herself with compassion. She too keeps life within herself, with fear and dignity, as though she were keeping heaven within herself.

Blessed is everyone who comes to know in due time that adultery defiles and kills life.

One does not fool around with God. It is safer to fool around with fire than with God.

Nor is life, which comes from God, a narcotic for instant stupefactions, after which self-delusion manifests itself again and again; while shame and humiliati6n fall like heavy stones on the heart, emptied of one demented desire.

Deliver my soul from self-delusion, my God, so that my body may also be delivered from bodily sin.

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1. Matt. 5:27-30.

2. Acts 9:18.

3. Matt. 19:3-12, John 2:1-11, and 1 Cor. 7.

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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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