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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

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