We need and want many things in our life. Yet, Christ says, “but one thing is needful”. What is this one thing that we need?

The one thing that is needful is the salvation of our souls. This is our first priority. The needs and wants of the body are of secondary importance. Indeed the needs of the body are few and limited.

“But one thing is needful” is a timely reminder that our primary concern should be to lead a God-pleasing life and to draw near to Him in prayer and sacramental life. “But one thing is needful” acts as a compass in our lives. Just as a compass shows us directions, this phrase shows us where we should be going.

“But one thing is needful” reminds us of our calling to theosis. We are called to be little gods, in His likeness, by grace. The way to theosis is by prioritising our spiritual life in our daily actions. It is by having a clear focus and goal which then allows us to make better decisions on a daily and even hourly basis. When we know where we are going, we know the road to take. When we are ambivalent then we go down various paths and do not reach our destination.

On this journey to theosis, we are not left on our own. The Church provides the tools for our salvation. These include:

  • Prayer which forms the basis of our spiritual life
  • A sacramental life accompanied by sincere repentance
  • Holy Confession to clean our soul
  • Holy Communion to bring Christ Himself inside us thus purifying and sanctifying us
  • A spiritual father to guide us in our spiritual journey
  • Reading the Holy Bible and other spiritual books
  • Reading the lives of saints and imitating them.

St Paisios says that the devil always wants us to become busier and busier with worldly activities and cares and eventually to forget our true destination. The answer to this trap of being too busy is to simplify our lives and to give priority to the things that are the most helpful for our salvation.

We have been influenced by the consumer society in which we live and have created false needs. These false needs govern our thoughts and actions and shape our behaviour as well. The creation of false needs is a great danger for our spiritual health.

So let’s take the opportunity provided by this year’s synthima (motto), “but one thing is needful” and make the salvation of our soul our priority for the coming year.


Source: Lychnos Feb 2019 / Mar 2019