It depends on us

Since therefore I am unable to present instruction and the image and model of virtuous deeds from my own life, carrying with myself everywhere the mark of sin, come, and from the work of others and their sweaty toils, I shall today unveil for you a nourishment which does not perish but which leads our souls to life everlasting [cf. Jn 6:27]. For as bread strengthens the body, the word of God often awakens the soul to virtue in earnest, and especially the souls of those most slothful in the work of divine commandments and disposed to carelessness. For the zealous, those whose intention is directed toward God, it is sufficient for their conscience to set them in the presence of instruction, recommending all good things and dissuading them from evil. Those more humble than these need to have the commandment of the written law set before them. But if someone escapes both from the first and from the second type of path which leads to virtue, it is necessary that from the zeal and concern of others, which he sees before his eyes, through his hearing, aroused in him to shake his soul from its sleep, that he may travel through the straight and narrow path and begin eternal life now. For it depends on us and lies within our power either to despise the desire for things which come in the present because they pass away, or, in the desire and longing for present things, to lose the unceasing good.
Leontius of Neapolis


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