Monday, July 13, 2015

Keep Your Account Short

And I urge you to show great zeal by gathering here at dawn to make your prayers and confessions to the God of all things, and to thank Him for the gifts He has already given.  Beseech Him to deign to lend you from now on His powerful aid in guarding this treasure; strengthened with this aid, let each one leave the church to take up his daily tasks, one hastening to work with his hands, another hurrying to his military post, and still another to his post in the government.  However, let each one approach his daily task with fear and anguish, and spend his working hours in the knowledge that at evening he should return here to the church, render an account to the Master of his whole day, and beg forgiveness for his falls.  For even if we are on our guard ten thousand times a day, we cannot avoid making ourselves accountable for many and different faults.  Either way we say something at the wrong time, or we listen to idle talk, or we think indecent thoughts, or we fail to control our eyes, or we spend time in vain and idle things that have no connection with what we should be doing.

This is the reason why each evening we must beg pardon from the Master for all these faults.  This is why we must flee to the loving-kindness of God and make our appeal to Him. Then we must spend the hours of the night soberly, and in this way meet the confessions of the dawn.  If each of us manages his own life in this way, he will be able to cross the sea of this life without danger and to deserve the loving-kindness of the Master.  And when the hour for gathering in church summons him, let him hold this gathering and all spiritual things in higher regard to anything else.  In this way we shall manage the goods we have in our hands and keep them secure.

John Chrysostom, Baptismal Instruction, 8.17-18

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