Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

will_of_god

16 Entries

...the true fulfillment of the commandments does not require merely forbearance from excesses or defects, it also demands an aim acceptable to God, that is the fulfillment in everything of God's will alone. St. Gregory of Sinai (Texts on Commandments and Dogmas no. 14)



...we should not be satisfied with desiring what God wills, but must desire it how He wishes it, when He wishes it and for the reason and purpose He wishes it. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 10)

A man cannot acquire hope in God unless he first does His will with exactness. For hope in God and manliness of heart are born of the testimony of the conscience, and by the truthful testimony of the mind we possess confidence in God. The testimony of the mind consists in the fact that a man's conscience does not accuse him of negligence in anything within his power that it is his duty to do. The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian.

A man who is moved towards doing one thing or another purely by the consciousness of God's will and the desire to please Him, never prefers one activity to another, even if one is great and lofty, and another petty and insignificant; but he has his will equally disposed towards either, so long as they are pleasing to God. So whether he does something lofty and great or petty and insignificant, he remains equally calm and content... Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 10)

Do not abandon the will of God in order to serve the will of man. Glinsk elder Schema-hieromonk Andronicus Lukasha (1889-1974) (Glinsk Mosaic: Pilgrims’ Recollections of the Glinsk Hermitage, 1942-1961, Pilgrim Publishers, Moscow, 1997.)

God's will is done on earth as in heaven when, in the way indicated, we do not disparage one another, and when not only are we without jealousy but we are united one to another in simplicity and in mutual love, peace and joy, and regard our brother's progress as our own and his failure as our loss. St. Symeon Metaphrastis, Paraphrase of the Homilies of St. Makarios of Egypt, Philokalia, Vol. 3

He that has chosen to live in Christ should cling to that Heart and that Head, for we obtain life from no other source. But this is impossible for those who do not will what He wills. It is necessary to train one's purpose, as far as it is humanly possible, to conform to Christ's will and to prepare oneself to desire what He desires and to enjoy it, for it is impossible for contrary desires to continue in one and the same heart. As He says, 'the evil man out of the treasure of his evil heart knows how to produce nothing else but evil' (cf. Luke 6:45), and the good man that which is good. St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ.

How many times have I prayed for what seemed a good thing for me and not leaving it to God to do as He knows best But having obtained what I begged for, I found myself in distress because I had not asked for it to be, rather, according to God's will. St. Nilus of Sinai

I said to (St. Onnophrius), "My good father, did you suffer when you first came to this place in the desert?" The blessed old man said, "I suffered a great deal, my son. Believe me, my beloved son, I came close to dying many times on account of hunger and thirst and on account of the burning fire during the day and the frost at night. My members were soaked by the dew of the sky.

When God saw me, that I patiently endured in the fight of fasting and that I devoted myself to ascetic practice, He had the holy angels serve me my daily food, giving it to me every night and a little water every night in order to strengthen my body. And this one palm tree produced for me twelve bunches of dates each year, one each month, and I would eat it.

And He made the other plants that grow in the desert places sweet in my mouth, sweeter than honey in my mouth. For it is written, 'A person shall not live by bread alone, but he will live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'

For if you do the will of God, wherever you are, He will care for you, because your Father in heaven knows what all your needs are, what you will eat or what you will drink. But rather seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.'" Now when I heard these thins from him I was greatly amazed.

I said to him, "My sweet and good father, where do you receive the Eucharist on the Sabbath and the Lord's Day?" He said to me, "Every Sabbath and every Lord's Day, and angel comes to me and gives me the Eucharist. And blessed is everyone who lives as a citizen in the desert on account of God and sees no human being -- He brings the Eucharist to them and comforts them. If they desire to see anyone, they are taken up to heavenly heights and they see them. They greet them and the hearts are filled with light. They rejoice in the Spirit and are glad in the good things they will never lack. When they see them, they are comforted, and they completely forget the afflictions that have been theirs. Afterwards they return to their places, and they are comforted for a long time, as though they had been removed to another world. Because of the great joy they have seen, they do not remember that this world even exists." the Coptic Life of St. Onnophrius (comm 13 June) by Paphnutius



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 given over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass. Archimandrite Sophrony, Wisdom From Mt. Athos

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. Archimandrite Sophrony, Wisdom From Mt. Athos

Now the health of the soul is the accomplishment of the Divine Will, just as, on the other hand, the disease of the soul that ends in death is the falling away from this good Will. We fell ill when we forsook the wholesome way of life in Paradise and filled ourselves with the poison of disobedience, through which our nature was conquered by this evil and deadly disease. Then there came the true Physician who cured the evil perfectly by its opposite, as is the law of medicine. For those who had succumbed to the disease because they had separated themselves from the Divine Will, He frees once more from their sickness by uniting them to the Will of God. For the words of the prayer bring the cure of the disease which is in the soul. For He prays as if His soul was immersed in pain, saying, `Thy Will be done.' Now the Will of God is the salvation of men. St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes

The soul that is given over to the will of God fears nothing: neither thunder nor thieves nor any such thing. Whatever may come, 'Such is God's pleasure,' she says. If she falls sick she thinks, 'This means that I need sickness, or God would not have sent it.' Wisdom from Mount Athos, The writings of Staretz Silouan 1866-1938, by Archimandrite Sophrony

The soul that is given over to the will of God fears nothing; neither thunder nor thieves nor any such thing. Whatever may come, 'Such is God's pleasure,' she says. If she falls sick she thinks, 'This means that I need sickness, or God would not have sent it.' Staretz Silouan

We Christians are disciples as were the apostles. We must be followers of both of the teachings and of the example set by the life of the Master ---- And what is it then, to follow Christ? To do good and to suffer for the sake of the will of God who desires our forbearance; to endure all, looking upon Christ who suffered; for many wish to be glorified with Christ, yet few seek to remain with the suffering Christ. St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

When anyone is disturbed or saddened under the pretext of a good and soul-profiting matter, and is angered against his neighbor, it is evident that this is not according to God: for everything that is of God is peaceful and useful and leads a man to humility and to judging himself. St. Feofil, the Fool for Christ





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