Geronda, why does God allow the devil to tempt us?
He does it to select his children. "Do whatever you want, Satan," God says. Whatever the devil does, he will eventually break his teeth against the cornerstone of Christ. If we believe that Christ is the cornerstone, we are not afraid. God does not allow a temptation unless something good comes out of it. When God sees that the good that will happen outweighs the evil, He lets the devil do his thing...
God allows the devil to do evil to make a man fight. After all, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. Had the devil not tempted us, we might have imagined ourselves to be saints. That is why God lets him pester us with his anger. After all, when the devil strikes us, he thrashes all the rubbish out of our filthy soul, and it becomes clearer.
We need to understand that we are at war with the devil himself and will fight him until we die. As long as a man is alive, he has a lot of work to do to make his soul better. As long as he lives, he has the right to take spiritual exams. If a person dies and gets an "F", he is removed from the list of examinees. There is no such thing as a retake of the exam.
Humility has great power. Humility makes the devil decompose into dust. It is the strongest blow to the devil. Where there is humility, the devil has no place. And if there is no place for the devil, then there is no temptation. Once an ascetic forced a demon to say the Trisagion. "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal!" the demon mumbled and stopped. He did not say, "Have mercy on us". "Now say, Have mercy on us!" Whoa! Had the demon uttered these words, he would have become an angel. A demon can say whatever you want except "have mercy on us" because it takes humility to say these words. There is humility in the petition "have mercy on us" and the soul that asks for God's great mercy receives what it asks for...
Geronda, why don't we see how much evil the secular spirit brings and get addicted to it?
Evil creeps in slowly. If it were to move forward in sharp leaps and bounds, we would not be deceived. When [mischievous] people scald a frog, they pour a drop of boiling water on it. If you pour all the boiling water on the frog at once, it will jump up and flee from the danger. If you pour just a tiny droplet of boiling water on it, it will shake it off first, and then calm down. If you keep on pouring the water slowly, it will shake it off a little bit again, but gradually it will boil down without noticing it. "Oh, come on, you little leaper! If you've been sprayed with boiling water, jump up and run!” No, it doesn't run away. It puffs up, inflates, and then boils. This is what the devil does: he "sprinkles us with boiling water" one drop at a time, and in the end, without noticing how we are "cooked".
Homilies. Volume I. With Pain and Love for the Modern Man
Article from October 16, 2019
On the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, we are reminded of Christ's calling to us: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
Individually and collectively, our most formidable challenge today is to make choices. What values, ideas, and priorities do we consider?
As we are reminded in the hymns of the Church, Christ came to the Jordan not just to renew the fallen nature of man, but also to bless His entire creation by sanctifying the water. With the feast of the Theophany, the Lord shows us a different…
Biblical saints, too, have suffered torment and adversity; but, they sent prayers and pleas to God, and God heard them.
She thanks the Lord not only for joys but also for sorrows. Anna has had more than her fair share of sorrows in the course of her life. Her oldest son Alexander fell prey to drug dependency.
Many years have passed since Belarus was freed from fascism. But we hold close the memory of those who did not live to see the Victory. In our fast-paced world everything changes, but the truth. It is therefore important that the memory remains.
Love, kindness and warmth can do wonders: it brings an inner change in people without embittering them and teaches them to love others, as these episodes from the life of Elder Hieronymus of Aegina show.