Sin is a fearful evil and dangerous sickness of the soul. Sin weakens it sneakily and hands it paralyzed into eternal hell. It is however bad that it depends on our own will. It is a fruit of our own disposition. Sin is a fearful evil, but not incurable. Repentance cures it easily. For as long as one is holding fire in his hand, of course he is burned. As soon as he throws it down, he ceases being burned. The same happens with sin because it also is a fire, which burns man up. So for those who don’t feel this burning the Scripture says: “Can one put fire in his vest, without burning his clothes?” (Prov. 6:27). Sin is not any enemy, which fights you from outside, but an evil, which sprouts and develops within you. “Look with chastity” (Prov. 4:25) and you will not feel a foul desire: Remember the future judgment, and neither fornication nor adultery nor murder nor another transgression will ever overcome you. When however you forget God, then you will begin thinking wickedly and you will act iniquitously. The all-wicked devil pushes you to sin. He pushes you, but he can’t force you to sin, if you react. He can’t harm you, even if for years he scandalizes you, if you have your heart closed.
If however without reaction you accept some evil desire, which he sews in you, he will imprison you and will throw you into a pit of sins. However you will probably say: “I am strong in faith and the foul desire will not overcome me, no matter how frequently I accept it.” You do not know, it seems that even the stone many times a root which is in the earth cuts it to pieces. So don’t accept the seed of sin, because it will dissolve your faith. Uproot the evil before it blossoms, maybe, showing indolence in the beginning, later on you will be punished and will experience the axe and the fire. Strive to be healed in time, when the eye’s harm is in the beginning, so that you don’t seek doctors in vain, when you will have gone blind. The devil, after his fall, led many to apostasy. He sews sinful desires in whoever follows him. From him come adultery, fornication and every other evil. He led the forefather to disobedience and to exile. On his account Adam, instead of paradise, which bore exceptional fruits, inherited the earth, which produced thorns.
What will happen now?
We were deceived and lost paradise. Is there salvation I wonder?
We were blinded. Will we see the light again, I wonder?
We became lame. Will we stand up again, I wonder, on our feet?
Brethren, doesn’t He who resurrected the righteous Lazarus from the tomb, have the power to resurrect you much more easily, who are still alive?
Won’t He who shed His blood for us, save us from sin?
Let us not despair. Let us not sink into despair. It is fearful for us to lose the hope of forgiveness. Whoever doesn’t await salvation, sins without thinking! Whoever however hopes in it, hastens to repent.
The snake abandons his own skin. Won’t we abandon sin? The fruitless earth, if it is cultivated diligently, becomes fruitful. Can’t we be corrected? God loves mankind. For this reason don’t say: “I fornicated, I committed adultery, and I sinned and furthermore not once, but many times. I wonder will He forgive me? I wonder will He deliver me from condemnation?” Listen to what the psalmist says: “How great, O Lord, is your goodness!” (Ps. 30:20). Your sins never defeat the magnitude of God’s compassion. Your wounds never surpass His healing power. Only hand yourself over to Him with faith. Confess your passion.
By: St Cyril of Jerusalem