Do you have the will? Then you will find the way!

“So come, let us rise up, as many of us as wish to escape this slavery of the passions, and run to Christ, the true Master, so that we may acquire the title of His servants. Let us also strive to become such men as our discourse has just enumerated. Let us not, therefore, hold our salvation in contempt, nor fool ourselves and make excuses for our sins by saying, ‘It is impossible for a man of the present generation ever to become such a person.’ Neither let us philosophize against our own salvation, nor argue against our very souls. Because it is indeed possible, if we will it so, and so much so that free will alone can carry us up to that height. For where, as St. Basil says, there is a ready will, there is nothing to hinder.”

St. Symeon the New Theologian. (From “Spiritual Words”, posted daily by Mark Sadek)

Which one among you makes excuses for your sins and fools yourself by saying “‘It is impossible for a man of the present generation ever to become such a person?” Raise your hands, and I will count (as soon as I get my hand out of the way!). I see! All of you have raised your hands!

The tendency to despondency and from that weakened state to making excuses for sins is part of the human condition, but this is not the Christian way. Let us listen to St Symeon and St Basil, and if that is not enough, to the sublime Paul: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” “(Heb 12:1-2)

I have told you many times in sermons that all the God requires is that we DESIRE and that we TRY. If we supply the effort, God will supply the RESULTS. Do you believe this? It is a hard thing to believe, because ofttimes, we allow ourselves to believe what we see, and forget about that which we do not see. The grace of God works invisibly in every man, and produces fruit in a man if he has the will. Cultivate in yourselves that will. If you desire, and because of that desire, make an effort, then you will change. This is the message that St Symeon is telling us today.

p Seraphim

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