Repentance is not merely a quick apology to St John Climacus. Repentance is not quick in the Ladder of Divine Ascent. The first four rungs, where we renounce the world, detach ourselves from worldly things, become an exile and pilgrim from the affairs of the world, and with daily discipline internalize God’s will in holy obedience, these first four rungs prepare us for the rung of repentance. Repentance is more an attitude and a process than an event. An attitude of humility and repentance will prepare us for the slow ascent up the remaining twenty-five steps of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. Without daily heartfelt repentance we cannot continue the climb to a godly life. […]
“You should not covet your neighbor’s house.”
“What does this mean? We should fear and Love God, and so we should not seek by craftiness to gain possession of our neighbor’s inheritance or home, nor to obtain them under pretext of legal right, but be of service and help to him so that he may keep what is his.”
“You shall not cover your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
“What does this mean? We should fear and Love God, and so we should not abduct, estrange, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but encourage them to remain and discharge their duty to him.” […]
If in your heart you keep shouting, I want! I want! I WANT!
Not only are you acting and living like a child, but when you focus excessively on getting more possessions and success, you risk becoming jealous of what your neighbor’s possessions and success, you risk becoming obsessed and possessed by jealousy and envy. Coveting and envy is a sin that is unique because it is a sin of our thoughts and mind, our “thoughts, desires, and feelings.” […]
A common misconception is that this Commandment only forbids us to lie. However, this Mitzvah goes deeper. Not only should we not destroy the reputation of our neighbor, we should also guard the reputation of our neighbor like we should build a parapet on our roof. Not only does this Mitzvah forbid us to lie, it also forbids us from telling the truth in a mean and heartless and cruel manner. […]