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November - December 2004

SAINT GREGORY PALAMAS: THE NARROW PATH
To Xenia - p. 303 - The Philokalia, Vol. 4

When you hear that other path of life called "broad", do not suppose it to be free of sorrow, for in fact it is filled with many oppressive misfortunes. He calls it "broad" and "wide" because there are many who pass along it (Matt. 7:13), each bearing a heavy load of the rubbish of this fleeting material life. But yours is the narrow path, O virgin, not even wide enough for two to travel together... Although the narrow way of life involves affliction, it also brings solace, confers the kingdom of heaven, and fosters salvation. But on the broad path what is pleasant and what is grievous are both alike. For, as St. Paul says, worldly sorrowfulness produces death, while "godly sorrow produces a saving repentance that is not to be regretted" (2 Cor. 7:10)

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