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The Good Seed

[I Cor. 1:1–9; Matt. 13:24–30] The good seed was sown, but the ene­my came and sowed tares a­ mong the wheat. The tares in the Church are here­sies and schisms, and in each of us they are bad thoughts, feel­ings, desires, and pas­ sions. A per­son accepts the good seed of the word of God, decides to live in a holy way, and begins to live in this way. When such a per­son falls asleep, that is, when his atten­ tion toward him­self weak­ens, then the ene­my of sal­va­tion comes and places evil ideas in him, which if not reject­ed at the start ripen into desires and dis­po­si­tions, introduc­ ing their own spheres of activ­i­ty, which mix them­selves in with good deeds, feel­ings and thoughts. Both remain togeth­er this way until the har­vest. This har­vest is repen­tance. The Lord sends the angels — a feel­ ing of con­tri­tion and the fear of God, and they come in like a sick­le, then burn up all the tares in a fire of painful self-con­dem­na­tion. Pure wheat remains in the grain-house of the heart, to the joy of the man, the angels, and the most Good God wor­ shipped in the Trin­i­ty.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse