Human integrity, says St. Cyril of Alexandria, is not the same as the integrity of the angels, who are superior to us by nature. But we still need to do as much as we can within our human capacity to keep to the straight and narrow.
Now I consider it my duty to mention why the door is “narrow” through which we go in to life.
Whoever wants to enter must necessarily possess—first and foremost—an upright and uncorrupted faith. Second is a spotless morality, in which there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness. For so the prophet David also somewhere says, very excellently wording his prayer to God, “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me” (Ps. 7:8). For the integrity or righteousness of the holy angels, since it is in proportion to their nature and glory, is entirely distinct from the kind that belongs to the inhabitants of earth. Our integrity is of a lower kind, and inferior in every respect, just as we are inferior to the angels in nature.
Nevertheless, those who wish to live a holy life cannot do so without labor. The pathway, so to speak, that leads to virtue is always rugged and steep, and for most of us too difficult to walk on. Labors spring up before us, and we certainly need fortitude, and patience, and nobility in our behavior—and we especially need a mind that cannot be prevailed on to take part in immoral and degrading pleasures, or to be led by irrational impulses into carnal lust.
–St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Sermon 99
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Could I be in better shape morally if I were more diligent in enlisting the help of my guardian angel?
Guardian Angel, help me to be worthy of God’s perfect mercy. Make my path straight, and keep me grounded in the fear of the Lord.
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