Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


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In Categories: Miscellaneous Topics

"This is the way the demons work; after causing a soul to fall into sin, then they cast us into despair to destroy us completely. The demons are always saying to the soul: 'When will his name die and be destroyed? (Ps. 40:6). If the soul is one of sobriety, it will answer them and say 'I shall die but live, and declare the works of the Lord' (Ps. 117:17).

Again he said: 'Do you be the door-keeper of your heart. And so that no alien may enter therein, say: 'Are you on our side or the adversary's?' Sayings of a Certain Egyptian Elder, THE SPIRITUAL MEADOW of John Moschos

88. When the devil sees that our intellect has prayed from the heart, he makes a powerful attack with subtle temptations; but he does not bother to destroy the lesser virtues by such powerful attacks. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

Just as the thieves are hidden in shady areas to rob the passerby, thus the devil hides in enjoyments to overcome our soul. REF:Saint Basil the Great

"The demons have also the following trick. They cry out the names of those whom they know to have none of the merits of holiness and to possess none of the fruits of the Spirit. They pretend to be burnt up by the merits of such people and to take flight from the bodies of the possessed.

Deuteronomy has this to say about such persons: 'If a prophet should arise among you or a man claiming visionary dreams, and if he foretells a sign and a portent, and if what he says should actually happen, and if he should say to you, "Let us go and follow strange gods who are unknown to you and let us serve them," do not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. For the Lord your God is putting you to the test, bringing out into the open whether or not you love Him with all your heart and with all your should (Deuteronomy 13: 1 - 3).

And in the gospel he says this: 'Fake Christs and fake prophets will rise up and they will perform great signs and wonders so that if possible even the chosen will be led into error' (Matthew 24:24). REF:St. John Cassian, "Conferences," - (Trans Colm Luibheid, New York: Paulist Press, 1985), pp. 174 - 176

If we desire to acquire faith -- the foundation of all blessings, the door to God's mysteries, unflagging defeat of our enemies, the most necessary of all the virtues, the wings of prayer and the dwelling of God within our soul -- we must endure every trial imposed by our enemies and by our many and various thoughts.

Only the inventor of evil, the devil, can perceive these thoughts or uncover and describe them. But we should take courage; because if we forcibly triumph over the trials and temptations that befall us, and keep control over our intellect so that it does not give in to the thoughts that spring up in our heart, we will once and for all overcome all the passions; for it will not be we who are victorious, but Christ, who is present in us through faith. REF:St. Peter of Damaskos, "God's Universal And Particular Gifts", from G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Philokalia: Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 172 - 173.

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