The Cardinal Rule of the Christian Life

by Scott D. Hendricks

Indeed, the cardinal rule of the Christian life is not to put one’s trust in acts of righteousness even if one practises all of them, or to imagine that one has done anything great; and even if one participates in grace, one must not think that one has achieved anything or reached the goal. On the contrary, one should then hunger and thirst, grieve and weep even more, and be totally contrite in heart.

~ St. Makarios of Egypt

G.E.H. Palmer and Philip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware trans., The Philokalia: the complete text, vol. 3 (New York: Faber and Faber, 1986), 335.