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Δευτέρα, 26 Ιουνίου 2017

ATIENCE … AND PERSEVERANCE “'In your patience you will win your souls”. Talking with Geronta Pavlos of Sinai (Q16):






PATIENCE … AND PERSEVERANCE
“'In your patience you will win your souls”.
Talking with Geronta Pavlos of Sinai 

Q Prayer often seems toilsome. But spiritual life is about joy, not suffering ...

A Having progressed in spiritual life, one acquires the freedom of peace within. While yet in this life, he is captivated – overcome – by peace, and gladness.

Q St. Gregory of Sinai says serenity amidst distress is won by patience, given 'in your patience you will win your souls'.
A Yes. Patience ... and perseverance. We are born in the image of God; whether faithful or non-believers, Christian Orthodox or non-Orthodox, we all have the image in our nature, with divine attributes such as self-determination and ability to rule over the non-rational creation. But the likeness of God is won only in Christ, with the personal struggle that each of us conducts to purify our heart from the passions.
Q The difference between patience and perseverance?
A Patience is to say 'Glory to God for all things' with peace in your soul, accepting with hope that which you cannot understand. Perseverance is to continue on, no matter what comes. You don’t give up, but continue to hope and to say, 'God will help me, God will have mercy on me.'
Q 'Neither swords and spears, nor attacking armies, not even the ranks of demons, nor the dark phalanx of hostile powers, will be able to do you any harm,' St. Gregory says, 'once you have obtained patience in Christ Jesus.'

A The problems will exist, we all have them, because 'take away the temptations and nobody is saved'; God is on our side to allow them, given the benefit they bring to our souls. But the person who has Christ inside himself confronts difficulties one way, and the person who is not with Christ, in quite another. Instead of surrendering to despair, even possibly to the point of taking his own life, the person who lives with Christ confronts problems with faith, love, and patience. With a heart purified from the passions he will surpass difficulties more easily, for he has acquired the stability of a peace within himself that is not easily shakeable.

Q And when the unavoidable temptations arrive, how will he practice patience and love?

A With the Prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.'
(http://www.mountsinaimonastery.org/q-a/)

Photo: Father Pavlos co-liturgizes with Monastery fathers in the main Transfiguration Basilica

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