The Shepherd, November 2008

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FROM THE FATHERS

 

“IF ONE brings to mind someone who has caused him upset, ridiculed him, hurt him, or has in any way caused him some evil, he should think of him as a physician and from the depths of his heart thank him for these things.  If, however, he entertains in his mind thoughts against such a person, then he is giving thought, like the demons, to something contrary to his soul.  Indeed, he becomes a demon himself and his own enemy, since he does not wish to be released from this evil, but to continue uncured.  For if he were not ill, he would not be occupied with feelings against the person who made him sad, and who upset him, and whom Christ sent to him as a physician to reveal his illness through assault and injury.  If, indeed, he truly wishes to be cured, it is to his benefit to consider the person who troubled him his benefactor and to accept all the evil things coming from that person as therapeutic medicines that have been sent to him by Jesus - and to be thankful for these things, even if for the moment they may cause him sadness.  For an ill man is not happy when he has an operation, or undergoes cauterization, or takes a cathartic.  Indeed, quite the opposite: he is unsettled even thinking about it.  But when he convinces himself that, without these things, he is not going to be cured from his illness, he yields himself all the more to his physician, for he knows well that, after a little inconvenience, he can be delivered from even the most bothersome chronic disease.”

 

Abba Zosimas from “The Evergetinos”

Volume I of The Second Book

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