An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Secure yourself with Patience

"The sea is bound to be stirred up and roused and enraged, so as to cast out of it again on to the dry land the wood, and hay, and all the corruption that was brought down into it by the rivers of the passions. Let us watch nature, and we shall find that after a storm at sea there comes a deep calm." -- St. John Climacus
God does not want those whom He will save, who seek His mercy, to be ignoramuses, unmanly, cowardly, or spiritually untested. It is a matter of divine inheritance stored up for experienced Christians. So He places temptations before us so that our obedience to His commandments may be demonstrated. His illumination is within us; knowledge of His will is taught by the Scriptures; furthermore, our conscience guides us like a compass. All of the above enlighten us in the face of temptations. But when evil prevails over our will, we do not obey His commandments.

We were created with free will, and free will cannot be controlled by others. As such, if we feared God, we would not fall into temptation. If we did not love ourselves more than God, we would not tend towards sin. But His goodness did not leave our falls without a rectifying remedy, whereby we return once again and a victory occurs in spite of our fall.

All who compel themselves to be saved, the Scriptures call righteous, justified by faith. God will not let them fall, for they are struggling properly. He will not let them be tempted beyond their strength when they are making every effort to be patient. But when we are cowardly and lukewarm, when we have a slothful will, this constitutes an occasion for a temptation beyond our strength.

Your grumbling is sinful; it is a result of self-love and unmanliness. Have patience in everything; thank God; blame your lukewarmness, and not God, Who was crucified for you and, consequently, must love you.

Since He loves you, how can He let you fall into temptation?
Seek forgiveness from Him, and secure yourself with patience.

"This, surely, is a sign of dispassion: to remain calm and fearless in all things because one has received by God's grace the strength to do anything, as St. Paul puts it (cf. Phil. 4:13)." - St. Peter of Damaskos


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