Orthodox America

 The Garden of Salvation 

     We must look at the soul as a fallow field in which we are called to create a garden of salvation. This field is overgrown with tares (passions). The Sower, the parable says, sowed life-giving seeds. But some fell amongst the tares, and when they tried to grow up, they were choked off. Still, the Sower broadcasts these seeds all our lifetime, and when we see that the young sprouts are being choked off by ,the tares, we ought to understand that it is necessary to weed the garden of our soul so that the next season's planting can bear fruit. This is interior work. It begins with the. guarding of the mind so that thoughts will not interfere with our work in the garden,

    Reading sacred books , the Divine Scripture, constant prayer and participation in Divine services...are the hoes and rakes of those who wish to create a garden of salvation in the soul. The finer work is done under obedience to an elder. Prayer is the stamina, the strength, the plow, for every success will be seen to boa direct gift from God. Obedience is the harrow and the disk. Obedience is the crop insurance and the tending of the young sprouts once they begin to grow. Obedience is the protective cultivation against the re-invasion of the tares.

     Frequent communion of the Holy Mysteries is the ultimate weapon which burns up the tares so that the field of the soul can receive the seed and bear fruit.

(From the Introduction to The Young Elder)