Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

patient_endurance

31 Entries

...do not despair in any way ignoring God's help, for He can do whatever He wishes. On the contrary, place your hope in Him and He will do one of these things: either through trials and temptations, or in some other way which He alone knows, He will bring about your restoration; or He will accept your patient endurance and humility in the place of works; or because of your hope He will act lovingly towards you in some other way of which you are not aware, and so will save your shackled soul. Only do not abandon your Physician, for otherwise you will suffer senselessly the twofold death because you do not know the hidden ways of God. St. Peter of Damascus (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 170)



A characteristic of those who are still progressing in blessed mourning is temperance and silence of the lips; and of those who have made progress – freedom from anger and patient endurance of injuries; and of the perfect – humility, thirst for dishonors, voluntary craving for involuntary afflictions, non- condemnation of sinners, compassion even beyond one’s strength. The first are acceptable, the second laudable; but blessed are those who hunger for hardship and thirst for dishonor, for they shall be filled with the food whereof there can be no satiety. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 7: On Joy-Making Mourning

BROTHER: And what is internal humility?

OLD MAN: The humility of love, peace, friendship, purity, restfulness, tranquility, subjection, faith, remoteness from envy, and a soul which is free from the heat of anger, and is far from the grade of arrogance, and is redeemed from the love of vainglory, and is full of patient endurance like the great deep, and whose motion is drawn after the knowledge of the spirit, and before whose eyes are depicted the fall of the body, and the greatness of the marvel of the Resurrection, and the demand for judgement which shall come after the revivification, and its standing before the awful throne of God. If the soul has these things, redemption shall be unto it. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984, pp. 263-264



BROTHER: Is there any man who fasteth that shall not be redeemed?

OLD MAN: There is one kind of fasting which is from habit, and another from desire, and another from compulsion, and another from sight, and another from the love of vainglory, and another from affliction, and another from repentance, and another from spiritual affection; for although each of these seems to be the same as the other in the mind externally, yet in the word of knowledge they are distinct. Now the way in which each is performed by the body is the same, and the way in which each is to be undertaken is wholly the same by him who travelleth straightly on the path of love, and who beareth his burden with patient endurance spiritually, and who doth not rejoice in his honor. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984, pp. 263-264



BROTHER: What is remoteness from the world?

OLD MAN: The thought (or mind) which overcomes the love of the body; for if the body be not trampled upon by the feeling of patient endurance a man cannot conquer in his strife. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), pp. 268-269



BROTHER: Who is the true monk?

OLD MAN: He who makes his word manifest in deeds, and bears his passion with patient endurance; with such a man life is found, and the knowledge of the spirit dwells in him E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984, pp. 264-265



He, then, who knows what is to his benefit should struggle to acquire this virtue before anything else, according to St. Basil the Great. For St. Basil advises us not to fight against all the passions at once ... Rather we should fight the passions one at a time, and start by patiently enduring whatever befalls us. This is right; for the person who lacks patient endurance will never be able to stand fast even in an ordinary battle, but will bring only flight and destruction upon himself and others by retreating. St. Peter of Damaskos, The Philokalia, Vol. 3

He, then, who knows what is to his benefit should struggle to acquire this virtue before anything else, according to St. Basil the Great. For St. Basil advises us not to fight against all the passions at once, since if we are unsuccessful we might turn back and no longer be fit for the kingdom of heaven. Rather we should fight the passions one at a time, and start by patiently enduring whatever befalls us. This is right; for the person who lacks patient endurance will never be able to stand fast even in an ordinary battle, but will bring only flight and destruction upon himself and others by retreating. St. Peter of Damaskos, The Philokalia, Vol. 3

It is always possible to make a new start by means of repentance. "You fell," it is written, "now arise"(cf. Prov. 24:16). And if you fall again, then rise again, without despairing at all of your salvation, no matter what happens. So long as you do not surrender yourself willingly to the enemy, your patient endurance, combined with self-reproach, will suffice for your salvation. "For at one time we ourselves went astray in our folly and disobedience," says St. Paul. "... Yet He saved us, not because of any good things we had done, but in His mercy" (Tit. 3:3,5). St. Peter of Damaskos, Philokalia, Vol. 3

It is always possible to make a new start by means of repentance. 'You fell,' it is written, 'now arise' (cf. Prov. 24:16). And if you fall again, then arise again, without despairing at all of your salvation, no matter what happens. So long as you do not surrender yourself willingly to the enemy, your patient endurance, combined with self-reproach, will suffice for your salvation. St. Peter of Damascus (Book 1: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge, The Philokalia Vol. 3 pg. 170)

Let none of you turn deserter. Let your baptism be your armor; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your patient endurance, your panoply" St Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD),Letter to Polycarp 6

Most people desire and seek after prosperity in this life, and they strive to avoid sorrows. While that seems very good and pleasant, constant prosperity and good fortune do a person harm. He falls into a variety of passions and sins, and angers the Lord, while those who live a life of sorrow come closer to the Lord and more readily attain unto salvation, for the Lord called the life of happiness the broad path. The wide gates and the broad way lead to destruction, and many there be who take that way (Matthew 7:13). It is the narrow way and the strait gate which lead to life eternal, and few there be who find it (Matthew 7:14). Thus, according to His love for us, seeing the possible benefit [of sorrows] to those who are worthy, the Lord moves many off the broad road and puts them on the narrow, sorrowful path, so that in [their] patient endurance of sickness and sorrow, He might effect their salvation and grant them life eternal. Counsels of Venerable St. Makary (Ivanov) of Optina

Patient endurance is the fruit of love, for 'love patiently endures all things' (I Cor. 13:7), and teaches us to achieve such endurance by forcing ourselves so that through patience we may attain love... St. Gregory Palamas (Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness no. 8, The Philokalia Vol. 4 edited by Palmer, Sherrard and Ware; Faber and Faber pg. 338)

The Lord said: 'He who endures patiently to the end will be saved' (Mt. 10:22). Patient endurance is the consolidaton of all the virtues, because without it not one of them can subsist. For whoever turns back is not 'fit for the kingdom of heaven' (Lk. 9:62). Indeed, even though someone thinks that he is in possession of all the virutes, he is still not fit for the kingdom until he has first endured to the end and escaped from the snares of the devil; for only thus can he attain it. Even those who have received a foretaste of the kingdom stand in need of patient endurance if they are to gain their final reward in the age to be. Indeed, in every form of learning and knowledge persistence is needed. This is natural, since even sensible things cannot be produced without it: when any such thing is born, there has to be a period of patient waiting if it is to continue to live. St. Peter of Damaskos, Philokalia, Vol. 3.

Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him" (Matthew 4:11). It does not say that the angels were with out Lord during the actual time when He was being tempted. In the same way, when we are being tempted, God's angels for a time withdraw a little. Then, after the departure of those tempting us, they come and minister to us with divine intellections, giving us support, illumination, compunction, encouragement, patient endurance, joyfulness, and everything that saves and strengthens and renews our exhausted soul. As Nathaniel was told, "You will see the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man" (John 1:51); in other words, the ministry and assistance of the angels will be given generously to mankind. St. John of Karpathos "The Philokalia: the Complete Text" (volume I), by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth, trans. By G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and (Bishop) Kallistos Ware, (London: Faber and Faber, 1979), pp. 298 - 309

Those whom divine providence is leading towards holiness in this life are tested by the following three tests: by the gift of agreeable things, such as health, beauty, fine children, money, fame and so on; by afflictions causing distress, such as the loss of children, money and fame; and by bodily sufferings, such as disease, torture and so on. To those in the first category the Lord says, 'If a person does not forsake all that he has, he cannot be My disciple' (Luke 14:33); and to those in the second and third He says, 'You will gain possession of your souls through your patient endurance' (Luke 21:19). St. Maximos the Confessor (Second Century on Love no. 91)

Since the Word of God though His descent to us has brought the kingdom of heaven close to us, let us not distance ourselves from it by leading an unrepentant life. Let us rather flee the wretchedness of those who sit `in darkness and the shadow of death' (Isa. 9:2). Let us acquire the fruits of repentance: a humble disposition, compunction and spiritual grief, a gentle and merciful heart that loves righteousness and pursues purity, peaceful, peace-making, patient in toil, glad to endure persecution, loss outrage, slander and suffering for the sake of truth and righteousness. For the kingdom of heaven or, rather, the King of heaven - ineffable in His generosity - is within us (cf. Luke 17:21); and to Him we should cleave through acts of repentance and patient endurance, loving as much as we can Him Who so dearly has loved us. St. Gregory Palamas, Philokalia, Vol. 4.

Even if thy soul should suffer somewhat from an offense, keep the sorrow within thyself. For it is said: "Within me my heart is troubled." (Psalm 142:4)’ St. Basil the Great

When tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came, but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor." St. Mark the Ascetic

6. He who honors the Lord does what the Lord bids. When he sins or is disobedient, he patiently accepts what comes as something he deserves. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

9. Afflictions that come to us are the result of our own sins. But if we accept them patiently through prayer, we shall again find blessings. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

47. It is a great virtue to accept patiently whatever comes and, as the Lord enjoins, to love a neighbor who hates you. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

102. If you want with a few words to benefit one who is eager to learn, speak to him about prayer, right faith, and the patient acceptance of what comes. For all else that is good is found through these. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

134. If you wish to remember God unceasingly, do not reject as undeserved what happens to you, but patiently accept it as your due. For patient acceptance of whatever happens kindles the remembrance of God, whereas refusal to accept weakens the spiritual purpose of the heart and so makes it forgetful. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

139. The mercy of God is hidden in sufferings not of our choice; and if we accept such sufferings patiently, they bring us to repentance and deliver us from everlasting punishment. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

155. The man who possesses spiritual knowledge and understands the truth confesses to God, not by recalling what he has done, but by accepting patiently what comes. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

187. He who wishes to avoid future troubles should endure his present troubles gladly. For in this way, balancing the one against the other, through small sufferings he will avoid those which are great. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

197. He who opposes unpleasant events opposes the command of God unwittingly. But when someone accepts them with real knowledge, he 'waits patiently for the Lord' (Ps 27:14). REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

207. If you do not want evil thoughts to be active within you, accept humiliation of soul and affliction of the flesh; and this not just on particular occasions, but always, everywhere and in all things. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

208. He who willingly accepts chastening by affliction is not dominated by evil thoughts against his will; whereas he who does not accept affliction is taken prisoner by evil thoughts, even though he resists them. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

Better than (all the particular gifts God gives) ... is the patient endurance of afflictions; and he who has been found worthy of this great gift should give thanks to God in that he has been all the more blessed. For he has become an imitator of Christ, of His holy apostles, and of the martyrs and saints: he has received from God great strength and spiritual knowledge, so that he may voluntarily abstain from pleasure and may readily embrace hardship through the eradication of his own will and his rejection of unholy thoughts, and may thus always do and think what is in accordance with God's will. REF:St. Peter of Damaskos, "God's Universal And Particular Gifts", from G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Philokalia: Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 172 - 173.





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