Adapted from Archimandrite Theologos Grigoriatis

Every Orthodox Christian must kill three snakes - three spiritual snakes - that are constantly trying to bite us.

The first snake is our "own rightness," the "personal rightness" of each of us. For some reason we think that if we've been in the Church ten or twenty years, then we already have the right to give instructions to other people, as if we don't have to humble ourselves: we think we have to humble others, especially those younger or newer than us. And if something has to be done, then let someone new do it.

But everyone, no matter how long they have been in the Church, should try to live in the same disposition with which they arrived-that is, to remain in the spirit of a newcomer to Christ.

The second snake that constantly bites us is envy. And when it bites, it steals absolutely everything - all our labors. Therefore, as soon as there is even a hint of the manifestation of envy, you must immediately expel it from yourself with great speed.

In the beginning, when we begin to fight with this passion, it torments us greatly, deep down inside; but when we drive it out of our mind, the Lord grants great inner joy.

And the third snake that bikes us is suspiciousness and rivalry. "Why should I do that instead of someone else?" This is a huge problem in a parish. When St. Eupraxia was fighting with such a passion, she took up the very lowest work in order to get rid of discontent, so that the question, "Why me?" wouldn't even arise.

We have to humble ourselves and live so that those close to us would be able to rest as much as possible thanks to our help.


"Ours must be an orthodoxy of the heart, not just the mind."

-St.Tikhon of Zadonsk