Elder Ieronymos of Aegina
Never despair. There is no sin that God would not forgive since His is an abyss of mercy and compassion. Pride and despair originates from devil. How can one despair as long as the long-suffering, Lord exists? Even if you’ve killed a man, do not despair. Say: “My God, forgive me”. Desperation is a great sin; it is unbelief. Keep your mind in hell but never let despair triumph over your soul. A monk, whom Satan has perturbed with thoughts of despair, replied: “Why are you trying to scare me? Even if I were to find myself in hell, still I’ll be above you”. Even Judas the traitor would be saved were I to repent. Real repentance and contrition of heart bring immediate results. Here, I look to the west – that is I am sinning – but enough is for me to turn my head to the east – to repent – and I become a righteous man. David sinned, but thereafter all his life repeated: “Have mercy upon me, O God” – and was saved. There is no sin that can defeat the mercy of God. No matter how many times you have fallen, rise up. God shall forgive you immediately, as long as you repent sincerely.