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“Our faith then must be different from the faith of devils. For our faith purifies the heart; but their faith makes them guilty. For they do wickedly, and therefore say they to the Lord, ‘What have we to do with You?’ When you hear the devils say this, do you think that they do not acknowledge Him? ‘We know,’ they say, ‘who You are: You are the Son of God.’ This Peter says, and is commended; the devil says it, and is condemned. Whence comes this, but that though the words be the same, the heart is different? Let us then make a distinction in our faith, and not be content to believe. This is no such faith as purifies the heart. ‘Purifying their hearts,’ it is said, ‘by faith.’ But by what, and what kind of faith, save that which the Apostle Paul defines when he says, ‘Faith which works by love.’ That faith distinguishes us from the faith of devils, and from the infamous and abandoned conduct of men. ‘Faith,’ he says. What faith? ‘That which works by love,’ and which hopes for what God does promise. Nothing is more exact or perfect than this definition. There are then in faith these three things. He in whom that faith is which works by love, must necessarily hope for that which God does promise. Hope therefore is the associate of faith. For hope is necessary as long as we see not what we believe, lest perhaps through not seeing, and by despairing to see, we fail. That we see not, does make us sad; but that we hope we shall see, comforts us. Hope then is here, and she is the associate of faith. And then charity also, by which we long, and strive to attain, and glow with desire, and hunger and thirst. This then is taken in also; and so there will be faith, hope, and charity. For how shall there not be charity there, since charity is nothing else but love? And this faith is itself defined as that ‘which works by love.’ Take away faith, and all you believe perishes; take away charity, and all that you do perishes. For it is the province of faith to believe, of charity to do. For if you believe without love, you do not apply yourself to good works; or if you do, it is as a servant, not as a son, through fear of punishment, not through love of righteousness. Therefore I say, that faith purifies the heart, which works by love.” —St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermon III on the New Testament, Section XI
“Human life is but of brief duration. ‘All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever’ (Isa. 40:6). Let us hold fast to the commandment that abides, and despise the unreality that passes away.” —St. Basil the Great
“We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. So does our life. I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!” —St. Tikhon of Voronezh

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