Preparing to Enter the Kingdom of God

“What can be simpler, he asks, than giving a glass of cold water or bread, or than refraining from one’s own desires and petty thoughts. Yet through such things the kingdom of heaven is offered to us, by the grace of Him who said:  ‘Behold the kingdom of heaven is within you.’   For as St. John of Damaskos says, the kingdom of heaven is not far away, not outside us, but within us.  Simply choose to overcome the passions, and you will possess it within you because you live in accordance with the will of God.”   (St. Peter of Damaskos in Longing for God: Orthodox Reflections on Bible, Ethics, and Liturgy by John Breck, pg. 46)