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St. Anthony the GreatGod is good, dispassionate, and unchangeable. But one who regards it reasonable and true to affirm that God does not change may well wonder, therefore, how He rejoices over those who are good and turns away from the wicked; and grows angry with sinners but becomes merciful to those who honour Him. To these it must be stated that God neither rejoices nor grows angry. For to rejoice or to grieve is passion. Neither is He honoured by gifts for then He would be conquered by pleasure. The Divine neither benefits nor suffers because of human affairs. Thus, He is good and beneficent only and, being always the same, never harms anyone. So if we remain good, by this likeness to God we are joined to Him. And if we become wicked, by this unlikeness to Him we are estranged from God. It is not that He grows angry, but that our sins do not permit God to shine within us, and they bind us to the demons that torment us. But if we should gain the loosing of our sins through prayer and good works, it does not mean that we have honoured God and changed His mind toward us. Rather, through these actions and our return to the Divine, we have healed our wickedness and thus are able to enjoy the goodness of God again. Therefore, to say that God turns away from the wicked is the same as saying that the sun hides itself from the blind. (Gr. Philokalia, Vol.I, Ch.150)

St Anthony the Great


Pray with each breath, thus:

“Lord Jesus Christ” (breathing in), 

 “Have mercy on me,” (breathing out).

Elder Joseph the Hesychast