Monday, March 31, 2014

Trials and Tribulations

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

James 1: 2 - 3 ESV

From The Sayings of The Fathers 
“Suffering is a real bond, an encouragement to greater love, and the basis of spiritual perfection and godliness. Listen to the one who says: ‘If you want to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation.’ And again Christ said: ‘In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage.’ And again: ‘straight and narrow is the way.’ Everywhere you see suffering being praised, everywhere it is accepted as necessary for us. For in the world there is no one who wins a trophy without suffering, who has not strengthened himself with labors and dieting and exercise and vigils and many other things like that. How much more is that true in this battle!”
St. John Chrysostom

"Whenever in your path you find unchanging peace, beware: you are very far from the divine paths trodden by the weary feet of the saints. For as long as you are journeying in the way to the city of the Kingdom and are drawing nigh the city of God, this will be a sign for you: the strength of the temptations that you counter. And the nearer you draw nigh and progress, the more temptations will multiply against you."
St. Isaac the Syrian

"Just as the world has to pass through winter before the spring comes and the flowers bloom, so a man must go through many temptations before he can inherit the prize of eternal life. For as Paul said: ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.’ Temptations come in three ways, by persuasion, by attraction and by consent. Satan persuades, the flesh is attracted, and the mind consents.”
St. Hilary of Arles


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The life we lead

There are three kinds of life: that of repose, that of action, and the one which combines the two. A man may attain to everlasting happiness by leading any of them, as long as he keeps to the faith.

But we must ask the man who seeks the truth in repose what he does for love of his neighbour. He must not give himself up to idle leisure; let him search for the truth, progress in his search, hold fast to what he has learnt and be generous in sharing it with others.  He who leads an active life must not long for honors and power - he must love the work itself if it is well and profitably done, that is, if it leads to the salvation of those under him.

Let no one be so attached to his own repose that he has no thought for his neighbour, not on the other hand be so busy that he neglects the contemplation of God. If we are believers, we are walking in the path of faith, and if we keep to it, some of us will arrive at a certain comprehension of the unchanging truth, and at the end will contemplate it 'face to face' as the apostle says.

On the other hand, there are those who, while understanding what is meant by things invisible and immutable, refuse to keep to the way that alone leads to everlasting happiness, the way of Christ crucified. Some rays of heavenly light have reached their souls, but only as it were from a great distance, and they will not reach Christ's hidden mansion of rest.

St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest 


Monday, March 10, 2014

A Beautiful Prayer - By Pope Kyrillos

"My Lord Jesus Christ …
Make me worthy to go along the way of the saints.
Keep me firm in the Orthodox faith,
to keep the commandments and not to
care about what is in this world.

My Lord Jesus Christ, protect me.
My Lord Jesus Christ shelter me
in the shadow of Your wings.
My Lord Jesus Christ, save me from the falls."

 H.H. Pope Kyrillos VI  


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