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What Shall I Do to Entire Internal Life?


[James 1:19–27; Mark 10:17–27] Some­one turned to the Lord with a ques­tion: Good Mas­ter, what shall I do that I may inher­it eter­nal life? What neces­si­tat­ed this ques­tion? Were there no scrip­tures? Was the law not read every Satur­ day for every­one? There was every­ thing —both Scrip­ture and its inter­ preters; but in soci­ety dif­fer­ence of opin­ion went around and mud­dled every­one. The Phar­isees said one thing, the Sad­ducees anoth­er, the Essenes, their own thing, the Samar­ itans their own. In Galilee, per­haps even pagan teach­ings were heard, and each put forth their own with a tone of con­vic­tion. Any­one who was zeal­ous for sal­va­tion nat­u­ral­ly came to the ques­tion: What should I do? What should I fol­low, that my soul not be destroyed? Our situa­ tion now is very sim­i­lar those times. What teach­ings are not going a­ round our schools, in soci­ety, and in lit­er­a­ture! For the indif­fer­ent it is noth­ing; but they for whom every teach­ing is not the same can­not but seek an answer to the ques­tion, “What should I do?” So what is the solu­tion? The one the Sav­iour gave: Believe and live as God command­ ed, and do not lis­ten to people’s talk; let them talk. The talk of sci­en­tists is like rumours and fash­ion: today they say one thing, tomor­row an­ oth­er. But you should heed only God’s word, which abides unto the ages. What the Lord com­mand­ed no phi­los­o­phiz­ing can revoke. Every­ thing must be done, and can­not be put off. The judg­ment indeed will be accord­ing to the word of the Lord, and not accord­ing to our philoso­ phiz­ing.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse