Building Upon the Virtues

“Abba John said: ‘Personally, I would like a person to participate a little in all the virtues. So when you arise at dawn each day, make a fresh start in every virtue and commandment of God

with greatest patience,

with fear and long-suffering,

in the love of God,

with all the spiritual zeal and much humiliation;

enduring affliction and constriction of the heart,

with much prayer and intercession,

with groans,

in purity of the tongue and restriction of the eyes,

being reviled and not getting angry,

living peaceably and not giving back evil for evil;

not noticing the faults of others;

not measuring oneself (being beneath the whole of creation),

having renounced material goods and the things that pertain to the flesh;

on a cross,

in combat,

in poverty of spirit,

in determination and spiritual asceticism;

in fasting,

St. Maria Skobtsova
in repentance,

in weeping,

in the strife of battle,

in discretion,

in purity of the soul,

in generous sharing…’ ”

(John Colobos in Give me a Word: The Alphabetical Sayings of the Desert Fathers, p 139)