St. Theophan the Recluse: Bearing Spiritual Fruit
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Tuesday, October 4 (September 21), 2022
Eph. 2:19-3:7; Mk. 11:11-23

The fig tree, covered with leaves, was beautiful in appearance, but unworthy of Lord’s appreciation since there was no fruits thereon [Mk. 11:13].  That was so because it had no inner fruit-bearing energy.

How often we encounter such fig trees in moral sense: perfect in appearance, but void inside.  They are respectable, honest, follow all Christian practices, ─ yet have no spirit of life in Christ Jesus [Ro. 8:2], and, therefore, have no living fruits: whatever they have for fruits only seems like fruits, but in truth it is something totally different.

Whence comes that spirit of life in Christ Jesus?  We ought to understand that partially it comes from the Lord and partially ─ from within ourselves.  What comes from the Lord is precisely His spiritual fruit-bearing energy; what is up to us is to receive that energy.  So, let us take better care of our own part.

The main point here is your sense that you are perishing, that you will perish, but for the Lord, ─ hence, throughout your entire life, in all your endeavors, at all time, keep your heart broken and contrite [Ps. 51:17].  And since you don’t know the future, the enemies are many, and stumbling is possible at any moment, stay in fear and trembling on your way to salvation and ceaselessly cry out: “O Lord, save me, Thou knowest how!”.

Woe unto him who has chosen any other foundation but the Lord; and likewise, woe  unto him who has been laboring for any other purpose but the Lord!  If you are doing some work, commonly viewed as God-pleasing, ask yourself: “Who are you working for?”  If your conscience gives a firm answer: “Principally for the Lord” ─ then well; otherwise you are building your house upon the sand [Mt. 7:26]

Such are a few notes on the fruit-bearing inner spirit: use these guidelines in diverse circumstances of your life.