Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

Provocation

In Categories: Miscellaneous Topics

224. Knowing this, the Lord enjoins us 'not to be anxious about the morrow' (Mt 6:34); and rightly so. For if a man has not freed himself from material things and from concern about them, how can he be freed from evil thoughts? And if he is beset by evil thoughts, how can he see the reality of the sin concealed behind them? This sin wraps the soul in darkness and obscurity, and increases its hold upon us through our evil thoughts and actions. The devil initiates the whole process by testing a man with a provocation which he is not compelled to accept; but the man, urged on by self-indulgence and self-esteem, begins to entertain this provocation with enjoyment. Even if his discrimination tells him to reject it, yet in practice he takes pleasure in it and accepts it. If someone has not perceived this general process of sinning, when will he pray about it and be cleansed from it? And if he has not been cleansed, how will he find purity of nature? And if he has not found this, how will he behold the inner dwelling-place of Christ? For we are a dwelling place of God, according to the words of Prophet, Gospel and Apostle (cf. Zc 2:10; Jn 14:23; 1Co 3:16; Hb 3:6). REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779







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