Conscience

by Scott D. Hendricks

To have an accusing conscience is indeed the pain of pains and the sorrow of sorrows.

*    *    *

To have an unaccusing conscience is truly the pleasure of pleasures and the joy of joys.

*    *    *

When you disobey the commandments of Christ you are at once deprived of that peace, rest and joy which you had in your conscience before disobeying them.  And what do you acquire?  A perpetual agitation, an unceasing censure of conscience, an inconsolable sorrow, and fear and dread in you whole heart and soul.

Just as he who keeps the commandments of Christ, even before he receives the kingdom of heaven rejoices in his conscience for the good hopes he has, so, on the contrary, the transgressor of the divine commandments experiences hell prior to hell according to Chrysostom.

~ St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite

Constantine Cavarnos, Modern Orthodox Saints vol. 3: St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite (Belmont: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 1974), 129-130.