Written in the 50s and 60s these letters provide a contemporary distillation of the age-old wisdom of the Church, at once simple and profound, instructing the reader in the fundamentals of the Christian struggle.
Letters to Spiritual Children
- "Recognize your sinfulness, your indebtedness before God . . . submit yourself totally to God's good will . . . endure sorrows without murmuring . . . place all your hope for salvation on God's mercy and not on the 'correctness' of your deeds . . . fear a high opinion of yourself . . . only through humility does a person become as one spirit with the Lord."
"There are only two choices -- either a person succumbs to the passions and betrays Christ, preferring the world and the life it offers, or he fights and suffers, and through this process spiritually matures."
"Whoever gains the ability to see his own sinfulness sees not individual sins [only], but the complete distortion of his soul which constantly exudes all manner of evil; what's more, he sees that even his good deeds are saturated with the poison of sin. When a man sees this clearly, and likewise becomes convinced after a thousand incidents that he cannot heal the leprosy of his soul on his own, then he will genuinely (not artificially) humble himself, will stop judging others, and no longer take offense when his feelings are hurt."