Strength and Hope

Edification, consolation, aids to Theosis. There are enough Orthodox blogs out there willing to point out in greatest detail what is wrong with this world. Holy Orthodoxy isn't about lamenting over what is wrong so much as rejoicing that what is wrong with this world can be made right, can be deified.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The warfare continues, even during feasts. Even during the Feast of Feasts.

Abba Zozima said: If one does away with temptations and struggles with thoughts, there would not even be one saint left. One who runs away from a saving temptation, runs away from eternal life. Who but their tormentors provided the Holy Martyrs with their crowns? Who bestowed on the first martyr Stephen such a great glory, if not they who stoned him?

Amma Theodora said: Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter’s storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Fr. Seraphim Rose said: Pain of heart is the condition for spiritual growth and the manifestation of God’s power. Healings, etc., occur to those in desperation, hearts pained but still trusting and hoping in God’s help. This is when God acts.

Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex said: No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great, men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Many of the texts resonate with the Odes for Matins for today's feast (Veneration of the Cross).


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