Letters from St. Nectarios

Today we commemorate the translation of the relics of St. Nectarios of Aegina. In celebration of this day, here is an excerpt of a letter St. Nectarios wrote to some of his spiritual children, as found in the Holy Cross Orthodox Press title St. Nectarios of Pentapolis and the Island of Aegina, vol. 2: The Catechetical Letters.

"'Brethren, walk as children of light.' This admonition, my Christian brethren, is necessary to be made to all, in every instance--especially now, during these days in which all forms of temptation and evil have gathered around us from every direction, and all sorts of moral enemies have rushed against us, each one attacking us through every devious scheme in order to shake our study and immovable confidence in that which is good and ethical, luring us away from truth and the straight road of love that leads to absolute goodness and beatitude, and steering us down crooked and perverse paths, which lead to distress, misery, and perdition. 

Yes, Christian brethren, these enemies of all sorts seek to shatter our confidence first, because our happiness and blessedness is found in moral good, and they seek to overtake our soul afterward; for as long as our confidence in the moral good remains unshakeable, our enemies are pushed back, defeated, and conquered. However, as soon as our fortress is shaken--that is, our confidence in the moral good, in moral blessedness and beatitude--as soon as our soul is attacked and overtaken, all the dormant passions of the body arise; darken the mind, making it unable to understand; and lead us into places that are trackless and dry, into lands where every evil, debauchery, and impiety prevail.

Therefore, we ought to walk wisely as children of light--not as unwise men, but as wise. This is Paul's exhortation to the Ephesians, as we heard in the excerpt that was read, when he says, 'Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.'

This exhortation contains a just claim and demand, because God granted us the gifts of the Holy Spirit and gave us a spirit of wisdom, a spirit of prudence, a spirit of will and strength, a spirit of knowledge and truth, a spirit of the fear of God."

-Excerpted from St. Nectarios of Pentapolis and the Island of Aegina, vol. 2: the Catechetical Letters

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