Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

trials

10 Entries

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, Philokalia, Vol. I



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

Through the things that bring him pleasure, he (man) is made humble and grateful; through trials and temptations his hope in the world to come is consolidated; in both he rejoices, and naturally and spontaneously he loves God and all men as his benefactors. He finds nothing in the whole of creation that can harm him . The Philokalia, Vol. III - pp. 260 - 263.

8. Unexpected trials are sent by God to teach us to practice the ascetic life; and they lead us to repentance even when we are reluctant. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

154. Trials come upon us because of our former sins, bringing what is appropriate to each offence. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

198. 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. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

200. If it is not easy to find anyone conforming to God's will who has not been put to the test, we ought to thank God for everything that happens to us. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

201. If Peter had not failed to catch anything during the night's fishing (cf. Lk 5:5), he would not have caught anything during the day. And if Paul had not suffered physical blindness (cf. Ac 9:8), he would not have been given spiritual sight. And if Stephen had not been slandered as a blasphemer, he would not have seen the heavens opened and have looked on God (cf. Ac 6:15; 7:56). REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

If we desire to acquire faith -- the foundation of all blessings, the door to God's mysteries, unflagging defeat of our enemies, the most necessary of all the virtues, the wings of prayer and the dwelling of God within our soul -- we must endure every trial imposed by our enemies and by our many and various thoughts.

Only the inventor of evil, the devil, can perceive these thoughts or uncover and describe them. But we should take courage; because if we forcibly triumph over the trials and temptations that befall us, and keep control over our intellect so that it does not give in to the thoughts that spring up in our heart, we will once and for all overcome all the passions; for it will not be we who are victorious, but Christ, who is present in us through faith. 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.



I do not dare to ask for relief in any of my battles, even if I am weak and utterly exhausted: for I do not know what is good for me. "Thou knowest all things" (John 21:17); act according to Thy knowledge. Only do not let me go astray, whatever happens; whether I want it or not, save me, though, again, only if it accords with Thy will. I, then, have nothing: before Thee I am as one that is dead; I commit my soul into Thy pure hands, in this age and in the age to be. Thou art able to do all things; Thou knowest all things; Thou desirest every kind of goodness for all men and ever longest for my salvation.

This is clear from the many blessings that in Thy grace Thou hast bestowed and always bestowest on us, visible and invisible, known to us and unknown; and from that gift of Thyself to us, O Son and Logos of God, which is beyond our understanding. Yet who am I that I should dare to speak to Thee of these things, Thou searcher of hearts? I speak of them in order to make known to myself and to my enemies that I take refuge in Thee, the harbor of my salvation. For I know by Thy grace that "Thou art my God" (Psalms 31:14).

I do not dare to say many things, but only wish to set before Thee an intellect that is inactive, deaf and dumb. It is not myself but Thy grace that accomplishes all things. For, knowing that I am always full of evil, I do not attribute such things to my own goodness; and because of this I fall down as a servant before Thee, for Thou hast found me worthy of repentance, and "I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid" (Psalms 116:16). But do not allow me, my Lord Jesus Christ, my God, to do, say or think anything contrary to Thy will: the sins I have already committed are enough. But in whatever way Thou desirest have mercy on me. I have sinned: have mercy on me as Thou knowest. I believe, Lord, that Thou hearest this my pitiable cry, "Help Thou my unbelief" (Mark 9:24). Thou who has granted me, not only to be, but also to be a Christian.

"It is a great thing," St. John of Karpathos has said, "for me to be called a monk and a Christian." As Thou has said, Lord, to one of Thy servants, "It is no light thing for you to be called by My name" (Isaiah 49:6). This is more to me than all the kingdoms of heaven or of earth. Let me always be called by Thy most sweet name. O Master, full of compassion, I give thanks to Thee. 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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