MY BRETHREN! Happiness lies in your own self, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Examine your heart and see its spiritual condition. Have you perhaps lost courage before God? Does your conscience protest at a transgression of His commandments? Do you condemn yourself for wrongdoing, for lies, for duties to God and neighbour neglected?
Inquire whether vices and passions have filled your heart, maybe it has slipped aside into winding streets where walking is difficult …
Sadly, he who has neglected his heart is deprived of all good things, and has fallen into a multitude of evils. He has driven out joy and tasted bitterness, tribulation, and heartache. He has driven out peace and acquired anxiety, agitation and trembling. He has driven out love, and let in hate. Finally, he has driven out all the charisms and fruits of the Holy Spirit which he received in his Baptism, and has been occupied by all those evils which make man pitiable and thrice-wretched.
My brothers! The merciful God wants happiness for all of us, in this and the next life. So he founded his holy Church: to cleanse us from sin, to sanctify us, to reconcile us with Him, to give us the blessings of heaven.
The Church has opened its arms to welcome us. Let us run quickly, who have a heavy conscience. Let us run, and the Church is ready to lift our heavy load, to grant us courage before God, to fill our hearts with happiness and bliss.
St Nektarios the Wonderworker, whose Feast day it is today. Original at Απόψεις για τη Μονή Βατοπαιδίου.