Earth: What Is It Good For? 


A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.  Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:5-8) 


The 6th Century Syrian monk now called Pseudo-Macarius comments on the soil types of Christ’s parable: 

Take the example of the earth. Even though it is one, nevertheless, some earth is rocky, some quite fertile. Hence some is good for vines while other ground is suited for raising wheat and barley.


So also there are different types of human hearts and wills. Likewise also gifts from above are distributed differently. To one is given a ministry of preaching, to another that of discernment, to another the gifts of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9). For God knows how a person is able to fulfill his stewardship and so he gives his various gifts accordingly. In a similar way in regard to the interior battles, the enemy power is permitted to attack humans in the certain measure that each person is able to receive and withstand.  (FIFTY SPIRITUAL HOMILIES, p 165)


… God knows your hearts …  (Luke 16:15)

… You know the name and age of each, even from his mother’s womb.  (Prayer from the Liturgy of St Basil)

But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34)