St. Symeon the New Theologian.
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"It is possible for one who fasts not to be rewarded for his fasting. How? When indeed we abstain from foods, but do not abstain from iniquities; when we do not eat meat, but gnaw to pieces the homes of the poor; when we do not become drunkards with wine, but we become drunkards with evil pleasures; when we abstain all the day, but all the night we spend in unchastened shows. Then what is the benefit of abstention from foods, when on the one hand you deprive your body of a selected food, but on the other offer yourself unlawful food?"
St. John Chrysostom
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What gift can we offer to Christ?
It is told about Blessed Jerome that, as he lived in Palestine and worked in the cave of Bethlehem where our Saviour was born, he had a wondrous vision on Christmas. Christ appeared to him as a child and asked him, "Jerome, when everyone presents something to me, what are you going to give me?”
“My virtues and prayers,” answered St. Jerome.
“That is good, but what else?” said Christ.
“My heart, my soul, and all of myself!” responded the saint.
“I accept that, too, but I want something else from you as well.”
"But what else should I give You, Lord?” wondered the ascetic.
“Give me your sins!”
The Blessed Jerome began to cry brokenheartedly. He asked through tears: “Why do You need my sins, Lord?”
“I want to take them on myself!”
The Forgotten Medicine – The Mystery of Repentance, p. 47