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Whoever wishes to repent should keep himself fromdrinking wine, for much drink dismisses the fear of Godfrom the heart. Rather, he should ask the Lord to put Hisfear in his heart in order that he may conquer all sins.By abba isaiah
Instruction 6:If anyone presents wine, do not by any means drink a lotand do not break the commandments for the sake offriendship.Explanation:Stay away from wine as much as possible; do not add fireto other fires, lest you should fall into the sin of adultery.This instruction is very useful to both youth and elderswho love purity. Wine creates desire and anger, because ifthe veins are full of wine, a person will be unable tocontrol himself, thus falling into the sin of anger
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were nowaccomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said,“I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sittingthere; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it onhyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus hadreceived the sour wine. He said, “It is finished!” andbowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:28-30).
If there is a need to drink some wine, do not exceedthree sips, and do not break the commandment for the sakeof friendship.Do not love wine, lest it should hinder your love toGod.
ABOUT DRINKING WINEThe process of fermentation can be liken to one’sspiritual progress:There is a hidden mystery in the process of fermentation,which is liken to the human nature that wishes to meetGod in purity, and keeps his deeds clean so that he Lordmight accept them. The basin in which the wine is kept is well paintedand varnished, which is likened to the purity of the body,whose members are pure and protected against all theshameful sins. A person who is still a slave even to onesin can never serve the Lord. Likewise with wine, itcannot be poured in a cracked basin or a basin which is notwell varnished. Let us test ourselves, for we cannot please God ifthere is any hatred or envy within us, because these hinderrepentance. In the beginning, the wine is fermented, and thissignifies our youth; it is a period of restless until we settledown. The wine remains for a while in order to settledown, in the same way that a youth can never attaincalmness and meditation unless he retreats and mortify hissenses according to God’s will.If any seeds or germs are left in the wine, itbecomes vinegar, so to the nature of the youth: if he livesamong those who do not have the fear of God, he spoilsthe traditions which were passed down to him by hisforefathers. If we leave the wine pot uncovered, flies and insectswill be attracted to it and rot the wine, in the same waythat our souls will rot if we give room to talking, laughingand murmuring. If we expose wine to the air, its colour and taste willchange, so to does pride destroy any good fruits in ahuman being. In cellars, wine is hidden and covered, andthis is the way that we should retreat and deny ourselves. Having made wine, the wine maker rejoices to seethe fruits of his labour. In like manner, a person shouldcare to produce spiritual fruits so that God might accepthis works. If there is any crack in the wine pot, the winewill seep out and onto the ground, even without the ownernoticing. Likewise, a small sin that may seem unnoticeablein the soul, may destroy all the fruits of a monk if he iscareless.