The World, the Flesh and the Devil

(From Limonis’s word on thoughts)

There are temptations that lead us to sin. These temptations cannot come from God: He is holy, righteous, and every sin is contrary to Him. They always come from the flesh, from the world and the devil. The flesh nourishes within itself the seeds of sinful desires and passions; in the world, sinful manners and customs and a seductive way of people’s life make sin attractive for those who are shaky in righteousness; and the devil was a murderer from the beginning, the Savior Himself says this (John 8, 44). These temptations continue throughout life, and the Saints themselves are not free from them. One monk, who lived in the desert, tormented by the lust of the flesh, came to Saint Pachomius and told about his inner fight. “Child, – answered the Saint, – do not marvel at this. Now you see me as an old man, for forty years I have not left my cell and care for my salvation; but still, even now fight similar to yours is bothering me” (Prol. Sept 15)

Knowing this, brethren, what should we do? We must be constantly attentive to ourselves, to our thoughts, intentions and deeds; watch over ourselves and put on the whole armour, that are indicated for us in the word of God, against the enemies of our salvation. No matter how pious and kind you are, do not be self assured and do not think that you are completely free from this or that sin. “I have died to the world”, – the monk-elder once said to another elder. “Well, you have died, – the latter answered to him, – but Satan has not died yet; and therefore we must beware of him every hour. Just as a warrior, starting a battle, fights courageously, not knowing in advance whether he will lose or win, the same way a Christian should fight his enemies without fear, but also without self-assurance, setting all hopes on God”. (Prol. Jan 26, p.587)

So, here, on earth, we are sort of warriors set for battle. Let us always have our spiritual armour ready and face our enemies with it. Let us invoke the grace of God to help, and we will overcome them. And after we win, in the common resurrection of everyone we will receive the reward that the Lord promises the winners. To him that overcometh, – He says, – will I grant to sit with me in my throne (Revelation 3:21). Amen.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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