Ijov’s Blog

January 16, 2009

Struggles with frailties – Anthony the Great


Struggles with frailties.

Teaching of Saint Anthony the Great

Virtues: temperance, meekness and humility.

21. Evil adheres to our nature just as rust does to metal or grime to a body. However, just as a metallurgist did not produce rust nor parents bring about grime on their children, neither did God cause evil. He implanted a conscience and reason into the human being so that he would avoid evil, knowing that it is harmful to him and only leads toward suffering. Be vigilant: in seeing someone successful in power and wealth, do not in any way praise him. But at that moment, imagine death before you and you will never wish for anything bad or earthly.

21. The soul has its own personal passions: pride, hatred, covetousness, anger, despondency and others. When the soul commits itself totally to God, it receives a feeling of genuine contrition and from His generosity, a cleansing of all its passions. At the same time, it is taught not to follow them as well as to receive the strength to overcome them and conquer its enemies, which unceasingly lay obstacles in its path. If the soul remains firm in its conversion and obedient submission to the Holy Spirit, which teaches repentance, then the merciful Creator would take pity on her because of her labors conducted through hardships and wants — in lengthy fasting, frequent vigilance, in learning God’s word and continual prayer, rejection of worldly comforts, in meekness and spiritual humility. If it remains firm in all this, the generous God will deliver her from all temptations and through His mercy, wrest her from the enemies’ clutches.

24. The more moderate life a person leads, the calmer he becomes, because he does not fret about many things — about servants and accumulation of material things. If we do get attached to these (earthly things), as a consequence, we expose ourselves to tribulations that lead us to grumbling against God. In this way, the desire for these many things fills us with confusion and we wander in the darkness of a sinful life, not even knowing ourselves.

27. In our conversations there should be no harshness, because normally the qualities of modesty and virtue adorn intelligent people more so than they do a maiden. A God-loving mind is a light that illuminates the soul, just like the sun illuminates the body.

Source: OrthodoxPhotos.com http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/instructions1/struggles.shtml

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