Sunday, August 17, 2014

Elder Joseph the Hesychast on Enduring Temptations

Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom (source)
 
"There is nothing else that can help appease anger and all the passions as much as love for God and for every fellow man. It is with love rather than with other struggles that you can win easily. In addition, when love reigns in your nous you feel no pain while struggling. For this reason, "love never faileth" (1 Cor. 13:8), as long as you constantly steer the soul's rudder towards it. And no matter what happens, you shout your maxim: "For the sake of Thy love, Jesus, my sweet love, I will endure curses, disgraces, injustices, toils, and all afflictions that I might encounter!" And at once, while you are pondering these words, the burden of pain is lightened, and the demons' bitterness ceases.
   
"Let me tell you a true story. Once, because of my continual and frightful temptations, I was overcome with sadness and faintheartedness, and I presented my case to God as if I had been treated unjustly. I was complaining because He kept allowing so many temptations to befall me without curbing them even a little, that I couldn't even catch my breath. In this time of bitterness, I heard a very sweet and clear voice within me say with extreme compassion, "Will you not endure everything for My love?" As soon as I heard that voice, I broke out with many tears and repented for being overcome with faintheartedness. I shall never forget that voice, which was so sweet that the temptation and all my faintheartedness immediately disappeared.
"Will you not endure everything for my love?"
"O truly sweet Love! For Thy love, we are crucified and endure everything!"
Elder Joseph the Hesychast, "Monastic Wisdom: Eighth Letter"
   
An icon of the Blessed Elder Joseph the Cave-dweller and Hesychast (+ August 15th / 28th 1959). This year completes 55 years since his blessed repose. Though he has yet to be officially canonized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, we pray that we might follow his great spiritual example, according to our strength, and that he might pray for us all to the Most-merciful Lord. (source)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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