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On Love toward God:

You say: “I love God and have the Holy Spirit.” But examine this closely, is this really so? Are you faithful to God day and night? If you have this uninterrupted love, then you are pure. How-ever, think about this. When earthly cares or various defiled and sly thoughts arise, are you then truly against them and does your soul want to love God and be wholly attached to Him? After all, in distracting the mind with worldly and corruptible matters, earthly thoughts impede a person’s love for God and the continuous thinking about Him. It happens that a simple person enters into prayer, bends his knee — and his mind attains tranquility. And the degree of his un-dermining the opposing wall of evil and the extent of his burrowing under it is the measure of its destruction, so that the person gradually attains spiritual direction and wisdom. However, this level is not attained by the powerful of this world, nor the educated, nor writers.

St. Macarius the Great