“If a man’s deeds are not in harmony with his Prayer, he labours in vain. The brother said, ‘What is this harmony between practice and Prayer?’ The old man said, ‘We should no longer do those things against which we Pray. For when a man gives up his own will, then God is reconciled with him and accepts his Prayers.’ The brother asked, ‘In all the affliction which the Monk gives himself, what helps him?’ The old man said, ‘It is written, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.'” (Ps.46.1)

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The old man was asked, ‘What is the good of the fasts and watchings which a man imposes on himself?’ and he replied, ‘They make the Soul humble. For it is written, “Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins” (Ps. 25:18). So if the Soul gives itself all this hardship, God will have mercy on it.’

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