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Narrow Way/Gate/Path

“This narrow way that the Church exhorts us to follow, as we all know, is the call to a life of repentance. This repentance is not feigned, or morose and depressed, but rather it is an attitude of our hearts, always willing and ready to change for the sake of following God and His commandments and for the good of others…We are all called to be saints and yet not all respond to this call. To become a saint is to fulfill the will of Him Who created us in His image…We are all called to be saints, and yet not all respond to this call, because the task is very difficult and the way is narrow.” (Archimandrite Sergius)


“The nature of this road upon which He [Jesus] commanded us to walk is toilsome and hard. The hypocrite would seldom choose to toil but would prefer only to make a show. For this very reason the hypocrite is easily detected. When Jesus notes that “there are few who find it” [Matthew 7:14], He distinguishes these from those who do not find the way yet pretend to find it. So do not look to the mask but to the behavioral fruits of those who pursue the narrow way.” (St. John Chrysostom)


“Among all the religions, only in the Christian faith does the Founder not promise long life, prosperity, pleasure and comfortable circumstances for those who follow His words and example. It’s the only faith in which the adherents’ interests, as most people understand this, are not catered to…it’s not easy for people to follow the path outlined by the faith. We live in a society that promises the exact opposite: power, authority, enjoyment, a share of material goods, an extension of life for as long as possible and an emphasis on ‘optics’. And the gate by which we enter this kind of life is broad. On the other hand, the gate, as well as the path, demanded by Christ are narrow and full of sorrow. The beautiful requires effort, requires a cross, requires a decision that lasting joy comes from the burden of love and sacrifice. This is like when, after striving for something, we rejoice when we achieve it, because we know we’ve given something of ourself for it. When we’re simply handed something, we often don’t know what to do with it, nor can we appreciate it. In the same way, in the life of the faith, the way of the cross makes the resurrection the greatest blessing: victory over our self, which wants it all and wants it now. This is the greatest victory, which makes people who’ve shown patience truly happy and blessed.” (Protopresbyter Themistoklis Mourtzanos)


“…love is the fulfilment of the whole of the law. Compassion is also the whole of the law of Christ, because it flows from love…This is why God made us: so that we could approach Him. This is why we live, so that we can become children of the Most High, can be perfected and can desire Him. What path should we follow? We should proceed through the narrow gate, along the thorny road of sorrows, without fearing sorrow and pain, because they’re the beginning of good. We should tread the path of sorrows, applying Christ’s commandments to our life….The Lord cleanses the hearts of such people from every defilement, because the Holy Spirit can dwell only in a humble heart. We must acquire meekness and humility, and divine love will come…the most beneficial prayer is the one in which we request love.” (Saint Luke the Doctor)


“It’s a narrow way we must walk. On the one hand, we do indeed encounter God by His Grace in perceptible ways at the early stages of our spiritual life. But on the other hand, we must not get cocky. We cannot forget that we are just beginners. We cannot forget that we have so much more growing to do, so much more needs to be purified for us to see as God created us to see…I trust the way they have mapped out for us. And even if I don’t get very far down the road, that narrow way, in my short lifetime, still, I’m sure this is the road I want to be on.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)


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