Attainment of the Kingdom of God
In order not to be in perpetual bondage to your vices and to the Devil, you must set yourself an object. Have it consistently before you, and endeavor to reach it, conquering all obstacles in the name of the Lord. What is this object? The kingdom of God, the divine place of glory, prepared for believers from the creation of the world. But as this object can only be attained by certain means, it is also necessary to have such means at one’s disposal. And what are these means? Faith, hope and love – especially the last.

St. John of Kronstadt
“My Life in Christ”

Editor’s note:

How often in the Fathers do we read the term athlete to describe our Earthly struggles. Like an athlete who trains in the arena with a specific goal in their sights, so too must we approach our spiritual life. Setting our goal as the Kingdom of God, we focus all of our energies to the attainment of this goal. Without God’s help this is not possible, otherwise we become arrogant and boast that we can achieve this goal by ourselves. Even with the best of athletes, intervening and unforeseen events can drastically alter their path to meet their goal. In our quest for salvation, there is no such luck or happenstance for all is accordance with God’s will.