DO NOT BEGIN TO PRACTICE VIRTUE IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO FIGHT WITH THE ENEMY

When you want to begin a work which is pleasant to God, first prepare yourself for the temptations you will encounter and do not waver for a moment.

Because the enemy, when he sees someone starting a good salvatory work with a strong faith, has the habit to impede him with different frightening temptations to make his zeal weaken because of them and have no more desire to do anything pleasant to God. And this happens not because the enemy would have such a power – because if he had had it, nobody could have ever done any good deed – but because God allows it so, as we found from Job`s parable.

Therefore prepare yourself to defy boldly the temptations which impede the practice of virtues and only then this work of yours will be pleasant to God. But if you don`t prepare yourself to defy the temptations, do not begin to practice virtue.

Excerpt from About temptations, sorrows, pains and patience– Saint Isaac the Syrian the God inspired, Evanghelismos, 2012.