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Sayings of the fathers

What health and sickness are to the body, virtue and wickedness are to the soul, and knowledge and ignorance to the intellect. The greater our devotion to the practice of the virtues, the more our intellect is illumined by knowledge. It is in this way that we are accounted worthy of mercy, that is, through the fifth commandment: 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy' (Mt. 5:7). The merciful person is he who gives to others what he has himself received from God, whether it be money, or food, or strength, a helpful word, a prayer, or anything else that he has through which he can express his compassion for those in need. At the same time he considers himself a debtor, since he has received more than he is asked to give.

+ St. Peter of Damaskos +