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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elder Joseph on Temptation

Like a stammering infant, man seeks from God His holy will. And God, as an extremely good Father, gives him grace, but He also gives him temptations. If man endures the temptations without grumbling, he receives additional grace. The more grace he receives, the more temptations he will have. When demons approach to begin a battle, they do not attack in a place where you will defeat them effortlessly, but rather they test to see where your weakness is. The place where you least expect them is where they dig through the wall of the fortress….

Do you seek grace from God? Instead of grace, He allows a temptation. Are you unable to withstand the battle and do you fall? Then you are not given any additional grace. Do you seek it again? Again temptation. Again defeat? Again deprivation. This happens jyour whole life. Therefore, you must emerge victorious. Endure the temptation till death. Fall down like a casualty in battle; cry out like a paralytic on the ground, “I will never leave Thee, sweetest Jesus, nor forsake Thee! I will remain inseparable from Thee until the end of time, and I will die in the arena for Thy love.” Then suddenly, He appears in the arena and calls out from the whirlwind like He did to Job, “I am here! Gird up thy loins like a man and follow Me “(Job 38: 1-3.) And you reply full of joy and light, “Woe, to me the wretch….I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and reckon myself dust and ashes”(Job 42:6.) (Monastic Wisdom, pg. 82.)

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