"There is a moment, and a very noticeable moment, which is sharply marked out in the course of our life, when a person begins to live in a Christian way. This is the moment when there began to be present in him the distinctive characteristics of Christian life. Christian life is zeal and the strength to remain in communion with God by means of an active fulfillment of His holy will, according to our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the grace of God, to the glory of His most holy name.
The essence of Christian life consists in communion with God, in Christ Jesus our Lord - in a communion with God which in the beginning is usually hidden not only from others, but also from oneself. The testimony of this life that is visible or can be felt within us is the ardor of active zeal to please God alone in a Christian manner, with total self-sacrifice and hatred of everything which is opposed to this. And so, when this ardor of zeal begins, Christian life has its beginning. The person in whom this ardor is constantly active, is one who is living in a Christian way."
- Saint Theophan the Recluse
Reference: St. Theophan the Recluse. The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation. Translated by
Fr. Seraphim Rose and the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. St. Paisius Monastery, 2006. pp. 27-28.