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  Created In the Likeness of God


Saint John of Damaskos. On the Virtues and the Vices

...Every man is said to be made in the image of God as regards the dignity of his intellect and soul. As regards, that is to say, the quality in man that cannot be scrutinized or observed, is immortal and endowed with free will, and in virtue of which he rules, begets and constructs. Second, every man is said to be made in the likeness of God as regards his possession of the principle of virtue and as regards his imitation of God through  virtuous and godlike actions. Such actions consist in having deep sympathy for one's fellow men, in mercy pity and love towards one's fellow servant, and in having heartfelt concern and compassion. Be merciful, says Christ our God, as your heavenly Father is also merciful (Luke 6:36) Every man possesses that which is according to the image of God, for the gifts of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29) But only a few-those who are virtuous and holy, and have imitated the goodness of God to the limit of human powers, possess that which is according to the likeness of God. May we too be found worthy of His supreme compassion, having conformed ourselves to Him through good actions and become imitators of all who have ever been faithful servants of Christ. For mercy is His and to Him are due all glory, honor and worship, together with His unoriginate Father and His all-holy, Blessed and life-creating Spirit, now and always, through all the ages


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