23 March, 2011

Mark the Ascetic on Grace

"Wishing to show that to fulfil every commandment is a duty, whereas sonship is a gift given to men through His own Blood, the Lord said: 'When you have done all that is commanded you, say: "We are useless servants: we have only done what was our duty"' (Luke 17:10). Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his faithful servants."

Mark the Ascetic (5th century Greek monk who lived in the Egyptian desert), from On Those Who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works [The Philokalia, vol. 1 (London: Faber & Faber, 1979), pp. 125-127].
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