Saturday, August 8, 2009

Psalms 118:18, 66:12 & 29 and 4:1

Syncletica said, "When the devil does not use the goad of poverty to tempt us, he uses wealth for the same purpose. When he cannot win by scorn and mockery, he tries praise and flattery. If he cannot win by giving health, he tries illness. If he cannot win by comfort, he tries to ruin the soul by vexations that lead us to act against our monastic vows. He inflicts severe sicknesses on people whom he wants to tempt and so he makes them weak, and thereby shakes the love they feel toward God.

But, although the body is shattered and running a high temperature and thirsting unbearably, yet you, who endure all this, are a sinner; you should therefore remember the punishments of the next world, the everlasting fire, the torments of judgement. Then you will not fail in the sufferings of this present time, indeed you should rejoice because God has visited you.

Keep saying the famous text, 'The Lord hath chastened and corrected me: but he hath not given me over unto death' (Psalm 118:18).

Iron is cleaned of rust by fire. If you are righteous and suffer, you grow to a higher sanctity. Gold is tested by fire. When a messenger from Satan is given to you to be a thorn in your flesh, lift up your heart, for you have received a gift like that of Saint Paul. If you suffer from fever and cold, remember the text of the Scripture, 'We went through fire and water,' and 'thou broughtest us out into a place of rest' (Psalm 66:12).

If you have overcome suffering, you may expect rest, provided you are following what is good. Cry aloud the prophets words, 'I am poor and destitute and in misery' (Psalm 66:29).

Threefold suffering like this shall make you perfect. He said also, 'Thou hast set me at liberty when I was in trouble' (Psalm 4:1).

So let this kind of self-discipline test our souls, for our enemy is always in sight."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And in all things and in all circumstances of life, give thanks to our one and only true God and redeemer! Give thanks.