Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verse 4

Psalm 118Psalm 118:
A Commentary
by Saint Theophan the Recluse

(1815-1894)
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
Goodreads
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VERSE 4:
Thou has enjoined Thy commandments,
that we should keep them diligently.

This is actually an appeal to God.

The most important is diligence: with our whole heart, full attention, care, zeal in keeping the commandments (which were given to us diligently).
In this respect, we sin through heartlessness, by routine, indifference, and negligence.

When making a prostration, in your heart also fall with reverence before the All-seeing and Omnipotent One.
page 21

There is no other remedy apart from laying down a rule for yourself:always consider that you are just beginning, without thinking you have done anything previously. Everything you do, do it as if it were for the first time.
page 21

It’s always the synergy between God’s grace + our own effort.

These days, there’s a lot of animosity among Orthodox Christians against Saint Augustine. I note that instead, Theophan very often quotes him. He always refers to him as Blessed Augustine.
I have the feeling lots of people who express strong opinions against him have actually not read him directly. I agree some of his theological positions are somewhat unbalanced. But Saint Augustine has also powerful passages, for instance in his commentaries on the psalms (and yes, I have read them all), that all Orthodox Christian can make their own.

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