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[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