The Mightiest Enemies Against Us

“Without fear of God, beset by passions as we are, we cannot hope to accomplish God’s will and train ourselves to love Him and our neighbor. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death (Prov. 14:27)…

The three mightiest warriors in the enemy ranks are the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16); when, aided by our self-love, they gain a foothold in our mind and heart, the portcullis of our soul is soon opened to a host of other sins and vices which then beset us on all sides and at all times…”

(Macarius, Starets of Optino, Russian Letters of Spiritual Direction, p. 60)

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