SAINT SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN

1.  But then you may find yourself hampered by someone who sows tares of despondency…..When this happens you should sit down in a solitary place by yourself, collect yourself , concentrate your thoughts and give good counsel to your soul, saying: Why, my soul, are you dejected, and why do you trouble me? Put your hope in God, for I will give thanks to Him; for my salvation lies not in my actions but in God (cf.Ps.42:5) Who will be vindicated by actions done according to the law ? (cf.Gal.2:16) No living person will be vindicated before God (Ps.143:2) Yet by virtue of my faith in God I hope that in His ineffable mercy He will give me salvation. Get behind me, satan. (cf.Matt. 4:10;16:23) I worship the Lord my God (cf.Matt.4:10; Luke 4:8)and serve Him from my youth; for He is able to save me simply through His mercy. Go away from me. The God who created me in His image and likeness will reduce you to impotence.

2.  God said to Adam: In the day that thou eatest of it (that is, of the forbidden tree) thou wilt die the death (Gen. 2:17)  ─ that is the death of the soul. This happened immediately: Man was stripped of the garment of immortality; God said nothing more than that decree, nor did anything special happen after that. God, foreseeing that Adam was to sin, and desiring to forgive him if he repented, did not say anything more than the above. But Adam refused to acknowledge his sin and did not repent even when he was accused by God; for he said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me  ─ she deceived me (Gen. 3:12).

O Woe to his blinded soul! Saying this, he as it were said to God: “Thou Thyself are guilty, because the woman whom Thou gavest me hast deceived me.” This very same thing I myself now suffer, wretched and miserable, when I do not desire to be humbled, and to say with my whole soul that I myself am guilty of my perdition. But on the contrary I say: “That person over there inspired me to do or say this. He advised me and knocked me off the path.” Woe is my poor soul which speaks such words filled with sin! O most shameless and irrational words of a shameless and irrational soul!

3.  “Through repentance the filth of our foul actions is washed away. After this, we participate in the Holy Spirit, not automatically, but according to the faith, humility and inner disposition of the repentance in which our soul is engaged. For this reason it is good to repent each day as the act of repentance is unending.”

4.  To have faith in Christ means not only to stand aloof from the delights of this life, but also to endure patiently every temptation and test that brings upon us distress, affliction and misfortune, for as long as God wishes and until He comes to us. “I waited patiently for the Lord and He heard me” (Ps. 40:1)

5.  Keep in mind God’s precept that states, ‘Judge not, and you will not be judged’ (Lk. 6:37), and in no way meddle in the lives of others.

6.  When your soul is pricked by compunction and gradually changed, it becomes a fountain flowing with rivers of tears and compunction. If any one of you ever happens to communicate with tears, whether you weep before the Liturgy or in the course of the Divine Liturgy, or at the very time that you receive the Divine Gifts, and does not desire to do this for the rest of his days and nights, it will avail him nothing to have wept merely once. It is not this alone that at once purifies us and makes us worthy; it is daily compunction that does not cease until death.

7.  He who does not attempt to evade the suffering engendered by the fear of eternal punishment, but accepts it wholeheartedly , and even add to it as he can, will rapidly advance into the presence of the King of kings.  (Philokalia IV. “Practical and theological texts 67.”)

 

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