Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
The devil has this great aim to separate us of God. It won’t be easy to do it straightly because in this way many Christians who felt inside themselves the power of faith were crowned, knowing that the man is created by God and only for God and he cannot be separated of Him. The devil who is restless plans to separate indirectly the man of his Creator. He fights by all means to make the man fall into sin, in many kinds of sin and if he succeeds it doesn’t mean that he reached his great aim, he only gives him a great sadness, which makes the man consider himself lost, as if he couldn’t be forgiven and makes him fall into despair then the man separates himself of God and thus the enemy reaches his aim.
You should not bend your head and give up, no matter which and how would be the sin. Continue to acknowledge the Merciful Lord cause no misfortune means a thing if you have a faith as a rock. Do not fall into despair in no circumstances. The devil and maybe your weakness deceived you but you didn’t give your heart to him and you didn’t erase the name of God from your soul. Sinful as you are, God is indeed most loving and because you acknowledge Him, He is most merciful and forgiving.
He shall seek you Himself, He shall find you, He shall embrace you, He shall take you on His shoulders, He shall take you to the sheepfold and shall love you more than He loves other sheep, because you in fact didn’t leave Him. This is a great spiritual position and then the big falls from your life remain simple accidents.
I recommend an endless spiritual joy in your soul, because this proves that you are with Jesus Christ in your heart and your breath. Your heart will always vibrate a prayer without words. Thus a condition of master and of rejoicing peace will reign, even if you muddied yourself, because no matter which would be the reason of a discouraging sorrow, it is brought only by the devil.
The grace of God doesn’t come where is sadness, where is grief, because then you don’t know what to do with such a richness and waste it. Out of caution this grace doesn’t subjugate you, but it comes where is spiritual peace, where our being transforms this grace of God as a great jet device with your decision to move, to fulfill yourself and thus you reach the measure of the perfect man, for not saying that you would become a god by grace of course.
If you have this disposition of anxiety, sadness, the devil makes his nest and hatches his eggs. You cannot love anymore, you cannot see clearly in the future anymore, with the intellect God gave you, you cannot do these anymore because you are sad. Meaning that you are not able of anything – this is a devilish condition which is very hard to bear. When you are sad think about this thing: Hold on, there is a devil in here! And don’t accept that.
Especially do not be disheartened. Here lies the subtle fight of our holy paterikons and a great mystery of the spiritual life, to get back on our feet, without lingering anymore under the big and terrible rock of our fall. I tell you a word of great significance, in the spiritual order there is no fall only elevation.
No misfortune means a thing and nothing is lost as long as faith remains alive, as long as the head is lifted back and the soul doesn’t give up.
Father Arsenie Papacioc – about the devilish sadness
From Words of hope for the hopeless Anthology made by hieromonk Benedict Stancu, Sophia Publishing, Bucharest 2008, pg.68-70