How to remove habitual sin – Mar Isaac the Syrian

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Who hates his sins, abstains from them. He who confesses his faults, receives forgiveness. There is no abstaining from customary sins without acquiring hate, nor receiving of forgiveness without confession of faults. The latter is accompanied by true humility; the former by grief, through shame rising in the heart. So long as we have not advanced to the point of hating blameworthy things, it is not possible to perceive the fetid odour they spread when perpetrated, nor their stinking smell, bearing them, as we do, in ourselves. So long as you have not cast evil away, you know not what shame you will foster, nor what chastisement will rise from it. If you see in others that with which you are charged, then you know the shame with which you are clad. Remove yourself from evil, then you will know. For you inhale the fetid odour as a sweet scent, an d consider the nakedness of your shame as a glorious cover.

[Mar Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies] 

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