…Purity and passionlessness are bestowed not according to our years – wisdom is the grey hair unto men (Wis. 4:9) – but according to our humility. St. John the Ladder teaches that gifts (and hence purity) are given not for labors (even less for age), but for humility. Let us humble ourselves, and the Lord will cover us, and we will become holy. But until we humble ourselves, and [thus] make God merciful, our passions will not abate, even if we break our forehead against the floor doing prostrations.

St. Anatology of Optina
"A Collection of Letters to Nuns"

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