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


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