St. Mark the Ascetic: Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross . . .

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cross Church of the Holy Sepulchre

“Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross, in a spirit of humility and self-abasement; unless he casts himself down to be trampled underfoot by all and despised, accepting injustice, contempt and mockery; unless he undergoes all these things with joy for the sake of the Lord, not claiming any kind of human reward whatsoever – glory or honor or earthly pleasures – he cannot become a true Christian.”

+ St. Mark the Ascetic, “Letter to Nicolas the Solitary”, The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 1)

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