Theodoros the Great Ascetic

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Our father among the saints Theodoros the Great Ascetic was a monk of the monastery of St. Savvas near Jerusalem who became Bishop of Edessa in Syria. His feast day is celebrated on July 19. His Life was written by Basil of Emesa. The work A Century of Spiritual Texts is included in the Philokalia and is believed to have been written by St. Theodoros.


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Excerpts from A Century of Spiritual Texts:

  1. Since by God's grace we have renounced Satan and his works and have sworn allegiance to Christ, both at our baptism and now again through our profession as monks, let us keep His commandments. Not only does our double profesion demand this of us, but it is also our natural duty, for since we were originally created by God as 'very good' (Gen 1:31), we owe it to God to be such. Although sin entered us through our negligence and introduced into us what is contrary to nature, we have been reclaimed through God's great mercy, and renewed by the passion of Him who is dispassionate. We have been 'bought with a price' (1 Cor 6:20), namely by the blood of Christ, and liberated from the ancient ancestral sin. If, then, we become righteous, this is nothing great; but to fall from righteousness is pitiable and deserves condemnation.
  2. Just as a good act performed without genuine faith is quite dead and ineffective, so too faith alone without works of righteousness does not save us from eternal fire; for 'he who loves Me', says the Lord, 'will keep My commandments' (cf. John 14:15, 23). If then, we love the Lord and believe in Him, we shall exert ourselves to fulfil His commandments, so as to be granted eternal life. But how can we call ourselves faithful if we neglect to keep His ordinances, which all creation obeys, and if, althought we have been honoured above all creation, we are the only creatures who disobey the Creator and show ourselves ungrateful to our Benefactor?

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