Let us then follow Him, and take up the Cross. For though persecution be not present, yet the season for another kind of death is with us. “Mortify,” it saith, “your members which are upon earth.” ( Col. iii. 5.) Let us then quench concupiscence, slay anger, abolish envy. This is a “living sacrifice.” ( Rom. xii. 1.) This sacrifice ends not in ashes, is not dispersed in smoke, wants neither wood, nor fire, nor knife. For it hath both fire and a knife, even the Holy Spirit. Using this knife, circumcise the superfluous and alien portion of thy heart; open the closedness of thine ears, for vices and evil desires are wont to stop the way against the entrance of the word. The desire of money, when it is set before one, permits not to hear the word concerning almsgiving; and malice when it is present raises a wall against the teaching concerning love; and some other malady falling on in its turn, makes the soul yet more dull to all things. Let us then do away these wicked desires; it is enough to have willed, and all are quenched. For let us not, I entreat, look to this, that the love of wealth is a tyrannical thing, but that the tyranny is that of our own slackmindedness. (St. John Chrysostom, Homily LXXIV on the Gospel of John) 

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