Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

illness

5 Entries

Amma Syncletica said: "If illness weighs us down, let us not be sorrowful as though, because of the illness and the prostration of our bodies, we could not sing, for all these things are for our good, for the purification of our desires. Truly fasting and sleeping on the ground are set before us because of our sensuality. If illness then weakens this sensuality, the reason for these ascetic practices is superfluous. For this is the great asceticism: to be self-controlled in illness and to sing hymns of thanksgiving to God." The Desert Fathers



And disease, more than this, is a punishment and takes the place of fasting and even more – for one who bears it with patience, thanks God, and through patience receives the fruit of his salvation; for instead of weakening his body by fasting, he is already sick without that. Give thanks to God that you have been delivered from the labor of fasting. Even if you will eat ten times in a day, do not grieve; you will not be judged for this, for you are doing this not at the demon’s instigation, and not from the weakening of your thought; but rather, this occurs to us for our testing and for profit to the soul. "Saints Barsanuphius and John: Guidance Toward Spiritual Life," trans. by Fr. Seraphim Rose, (Platina, California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1990)

The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed, bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions. Abba Tithoes

The body is a slave, the soul a sovereign, and therefore it is due to Divine mercy when the body is worn out by illness: for thereby the passions are weakened, and a man comes to himself; indeed, bodily illness itself is sometimes caused by the passions. St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions

When we become unduly distressed at falling ill, we should recognize that our soul is still the slave of bodily desires and so longs for physical health, not wishing to lose the good things of this life and even finding it a great hardship not to be able to enjoy them because of illness. If, however, the soul accepts thankfully the pains of illness, it is clear that it is not far from the realm of dispassion; as a result it even waits joyfully for death as the entry into a life that is more true. St. Diadochos of Photiki, Philokalia, Vol. 1





Redeeming the Time

↑ Grab this Headline Animator





We confidently recommend our web service provider, Orthodox Internet Services: excellent personal customer service, a fast and reliable server, excellent spam filtering, and an easy to use comprehensive control panel.

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas