Embracing Suffering

“A man who, instead of avoiding and running away from sufferings of the heart produced by fear of eternal torment, willingly accepts them in his heart…will be determined, as he progresses, to tighten this bond ever more and more, and will thus advance more quickly. It will lead him to the presence of the King of kings. When this comes to pass, then, as soon as he sees, however dimly, the glory of God, his bonds – fear – will at once fall off, his executioner will hasten away and his hearts grief will turn into joy which will become in him a fountain of life or a spring for ever gushing forth: physically – rivers of tears; spiritually – peace, meekness and unspeakable delight, together with courage and free and unhindered readiness to strive towards every fulfillment of God’s commandments.”

~St. Simeon the New Theologian

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Fear and Hope

“Having recognized our own weakness and the power of God, we are filled with fear and hope, so that we neither lapse through ignorance because we are too sure of ourselves nor, when some misfortune befalls us, fall into despair because we have forgotten God’s compassion.”

~ St. Peter of Damaskos


“St. John in one of his epistles says, ‘Perfect love drives out fear.’ What does the holy man signify to us by this? What sort of love and what sort of fear is he talking about? The psalmist says, ‘Fear the Lord all you who love him,’ and we find thousands of similar sayings in Holy Scripture. If, therefore, the saints who so loved Him feared Him, how can he say, ‘Love casteth out fear’? St. John wishes to show us that there are two kinds of fear: one preliminary, the other perfect; the one found in beginners – as someone called it ‘of the devout’; the other in those perfected in holiness, of those having arrived at true love.”

~ St. Dorotheos of Gaza


“In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” ~ Psalm 56:4


“All who have firm hope in God are raised to Him and illumined by the radiance of the eternal light. If a man does not let excessive concern for himself turn him away from love for God and for the acts of virtue, then this hope is true and wise. But if a man places all his hope in his own affairs and turns to God with prayer only when unforeseen misfortunes befall him, and seeing no means in his own powers to avert them begins to rely on the help of God, his hope is vain and deceptive. True hope seeks first of all the Kingdom of God and is confident that every earthly necessity of temporal life will doubtless be given. It is of this hope that our Savior’s most holy words speak to us: `Come unto me, all ye that labor and are burdened, and I shall give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28); that is, hope in Me and you shall be comforted in your labor and cares.”

~ St. Seraphim of Sarov
“Once we have entrusted our hope about something to God, we no longer quarrel with our neighbor over it.”

~ Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

 

“When you stand praying – burdened with many sins, and overpowered by despair – begin to pray with hope, with a fervent spirit; and remind yourself that, ‘the Holy Spirit Itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.’ When you recall with faith this work of the Spirit of God within us, then tears will flow from your eyes, you will feel in your soul peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, and you will cry in your heart, ‘Abba, Father!'”

~ St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ
“If a man has no care whatever for himself because of love for God and virtuous deeds, knowing that God will take care of him, – such hope is true and wise. But if a man takes care for his own affairs and turns with prayer to God only when unavoidable misfortunes overtake him and he sees no way of averting them by his own power, only then beginning to hope in God’s aid, – such hope is van and false. True hope seeks the Kingdom of God alone and is convinced that everything earthly that is necessary for this transitory life will unfailingly be given.”

~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

 

“casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7