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Everything is a Gift

God is everywhere; he is as available to us as easily as it is to inhale and exhale breath. We are never alone. He remains more accessible to us than we are aware. This is why, if our thinking remains shallow, and we are unwilling to go to a deeper level of understanding, than nothing will change.

There are four forms of wisdom: first, moral judgment, or the knowledge of what should and should not be done, combined with watchfulness of the intellect; second, self-restraint, whereby our moral purpose is safeguarded and kept free from all acts, thoughts and words that do not accord with God; third, courage, or strength and endurance in sufferings, trials and temptations encountered on the spiritual path; and fourth, justice, which consists in maintaining a proper balance between the first three.

These four general virtues arise from the three powers of the soul in the following manner: from the intelligence, or intellect, come moral judgment and justice, or discrimination; from the desiring power comes self-restraint; and from the incensive power comes courage.

–- St Peter of Damaskos,"The Four Virtues of the Soul", from G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Philokalia: Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 100 – 101.

Orignially published in the October 9, 2011 weekly bulletin

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