Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
My brothers, when we grieve a lot for the diseases that affect us we must know tyhat this is an obvious sign that our soul is enslaved by its material desires. And because of this reason, because he longs for the goods of this world he cannot renounce at them and thinks that is a great misfortune to be impeded to enjoy them because of his sickness.
But if he is patient in sorrows this is a sign that he has self control and leads himself well. In this case death doesn’t scare him, he receives it quietly as a move to the true life. The same thing happens with the wax, my brothers, if we don’t melt it and if it is not warmed the seal cannot cannot be engrafted in it. It is the same with the man, if he doesn’t face the trials of diseases and if he doesn’t suffer much virtue cannot be embedded in his soul.
For this reason the Lord said to saint Paul:
`My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.` 1, and saint Paul tells us: `Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.`2
When he speak about weaknesses he refers at the persecutions from the enemies of the Cross against him and against the disciples of Christ from those times.This happened so that they did not pride themselves, as he declares, and be humble and by the many sufferings to reach perfection. But today we should understand by weaknesses the cunning thoughts. Because then the Saints were tried by many terrible pains but they defeated them by the despise for death and in this way they raised themselves above human nature. But nowadays because by the grace of God there is peace in His Chujrches our bodies must suffer endless pains and the souls of the ascetics of God be assaulted by cunning thoughts, to fight against pride and selfishness and be able to reach by humility the holiness of life and receive the most beautiful seal of virtue.
Thus my brothers we must endure and receive gratefully what God ordains for us and in this way we will consider insignificant any misfortune or long sickness, or war or demonic thoughts.
Because what happened then it happens now as well. And the same who told the disciples of Christ to deny Him for the sake of worldly goods and for the sake of the worldly glory stays near us today and inspires us the same devilish thoughts and throws us in different diseases and hardships.
We must be armed with patience my brothers because this is the invincible weapon and by its means we’ll defeat and trample the devil
1 II Corinthians 12,9.
2 II Corinthians 12, 9.