Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anger and sorrow ( Saint Ephraim the Syrian )

If you cannot endure insults — be silent, and you will become calm. Do not imagine that you are suffering more than others are. Just as it is impossible for a person living on earth to avoid breathing, so is every person living in this world cannot avoid experiencing sorrow and sickness. Being engaged with earthly matters, we experience sorrow from the earthly, while those that strive toward the spiritual, suffer spiritually with their soul. However, the latter would be blessed because their spiritual fruits in the Lord are abundant. (Ephraim of Syria)

28. If sorrow has arrived, expect the arrival of happiness. Let us take the example of those sailing on the sea. When a storm arises, they battle with the waves, waiting for calm weather; and when calm weather arrives, they prepare for storms. They are constantly vigilant, so that the sudden arrival of wind does not find them unprepared by capsizing the vessel. We should also act likewise: when sorrow or a difficult situation arises, let us expect alleviation and assistance from God, so as not to be oppressed by the thought that we have no hope of salvation. (Ephraim of Syria)

28. Everything is from God — good and sad. One is from benevolence, while the other is because God allows it to happen. From benevolence — when we live virtuously, because it pleases God that we adorn ourselves with crowns of patience; by God’s permission — when we sin and are brought to our senses; from God’s will — when we do not improve even after being enlightened. God providentially punishes us sinners so that we would not be condemned with the world — as the Apostle states: "But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:32). (Ephraim of Syria)
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