“The most radical thing is to keep always the feeling of our own insufficiency in relation to God. Then we will enter a permanent state of tension between self-condemnation and the love of Christ, between repentance and hope in the mercy of God. On the one hand, we live in anguish at being so far from the God whom we love; on the other hand, this suffering and this love act like an inner fire, and push us with great force towards God. This tension has found its most acute expression in the word of Christ to Staretz Silouan: ‘Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not.’ This word sometimes provokes awe, fear, and even panic; but it should not crush us. It constitutes the fundamental principle of our life in Christ.”
Elder Sophrony Sakharov, Words of Life (published 2010), page 27
Truly, I cannot even imagine how to follow the quote at the end of the above passage, but I can sense the inner tension that occurs in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, between a practiced endeavor of loving God and neighbor, while staying humble. Faith is the belief in that which cannot be seen, what is beyond our worldly senses as, St. Issac the Syrian, relates in Homily 52, Understanding vs. Faith. (I have the entire text of this homily in two of my podcast. Use the search button to access them.)
With Faith combined with hope in Christ, we then strive to weave the garment of our soul with virtuous acts, fasting, alms giving, prayer and repentance, so that when we stand before, Christ, after our death in our wedding garment, it will be a pure, illumined, presentable garment for our participation in the wedding feast, (heaven and eternal life). One of my spiritual Fathers shared this with me. On to Pure Week and weaving a few more luminous threads into the garment of our soul.