“What, then, is the divine commandment now laid upon us? It is repentance, the essence of which is never again to touch forbidden things.
We were expelled from the land of divine delight, we were justly shut out from God’s paradise, and we have fallen into the pit where we are condemned to dwell together with ignorant creatures without hope of returning – insofar as it depends on us – to the paradise we have lost.
But He who initially passed a just sentence of punishment, or, rather, justly permitted punishment to come upon us, has now in His great goodness, compassion and mercy descended for our sake to us. And He became a human being like us in all things except sin so that by His likeness to us He might teach us anew and rescue us, and He gave us the saving counsel and commandment of repentance, saying: ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has drawn near.’ (Matt. 3:2).
Prior to the Incarnation of the Logos of God the Kingdom of heaven was as far from us as the sky is from the earth; but when the King of heaven came to dwell amongst us and chose to unite Himself with us, the Kingdom of heaven drew near to us all.” – St Gregory Palamas