The Saints on Suffering and Sorrows

Without sorrows there is no salvation. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God awaits those who have patiently endured. And all the glory of the world is nothing in comparison.

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: ” What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.”

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil – for the devil is cold – let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

When the evil spirit of sorrow seizes the soul, then, by filling it with bitterness and unpleasantness, it does not allow it to pray with necessary diligence; it disrupts the attention necessary for reading spiritual writings, deprives it of humility and good nature in the treatment of others, and breeds aversion to any discussion. For the sorrowful soul, by becoming as if insane and frenzied, can neither accept kind advice calmly, nor ask posed questions meekly. It runs from people as if from the perpetrators of its embarrassment, not understanding that the reason for its illness is within it. Sorrow is the worm of the heart, gnawing at the mother that bore it.

He who has conquered passions has also defeated sorrow. But one overcome by passions will not avoid the shackles of sorrow. As an ill person can be identified by the color of his face, so is one overcome by passions distinguished by sorrow.

It is impossible for one who loves the world not to feel sorrow. But he who despises the world is always cheerful. As fire purifies gold, so sorrow in God, penitence, purifies the sinful heart.

One should always endure any trial for the sake of God with gratitude. Our life is a single minute in comparison with eternity; and therefore, according to the Apostle, the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18).

The kingdom of heaven is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Acquire peace, and thousands around you will be saved. St. Seraphim of Sarov 

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2 thoughts on “The Saints on Suffering and Sorrows

  1. Written for me this day, thanks Fr. Thomas for sharing. It is easy to be caught up in the negative in the world. Thanks be to God, we have a better place with Him.

    • God bless you this day my brother.

      I pray that the Lord will grant me grace/mercy to press into the truth of the gospel and the wisdom of the saints regarding suffering, sorrows, etc. if I can say my yes in union with His unceasing yes, I will be even more fully transformed into a person who, by my witness of life in the midst of such circumstances, can restore hope.

      I pray this bold and essential prayer for you as well. It is the only way forward day by day.

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