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Struggle with Passions

Ever since Man fell from Godís grace, just like a formerly domesticated animal that has turned feral, he views his previous place of habitat reluctantly. It likes the gloom of the forest i.e. present world, better than the light of its former place i.e. Godís Heaven. It is difficult for a person to unite with God and when he does, he soon falls away from Him. It is difficult for him to believe in God and all the things that God had revealed to him.

Looking upon Godís earth, I see the extraordinary magnitude and playfulness of life: in the animal kingdom, among quadrupeds, among reptiles, insects, birds and fish. Now it may be asked: where does the pressure and sorrows come from to those that attempt to live virtuous lives? After all, God has diffused life, abundance, joy and expanse everywhere. With the exception of Man, all creatures exalt the Creator by their contentment and playful happiness. Am I not a creation of the same Creator? The key to this riddle is simple: our life is contaminated by our sins and by the incorporeal enemy. He especially attacks those who have committed themselves to a life of piety. Consequently, the true life of an individual is ahead ó in the eternal age. There, all joys and total contentment shall be revealed to him. Here, he is only an outcast that is under punishment. Sometimes, it is as though the whole of Nature is against him. So I am not perplexed by the fact that everywhere in the world there is happiness and abundance, while within me there is misery. We all have an executioner for our sins, who is always with us and punishes us. But there will be joys for us also, only not here but in the next world.

Firmly remember that you are a dual person: one ó carnal, primeval and afflicted with passions. He must be subdued and not yielded to, with his insistent, sinful demands. The other is the spiritual, new, Christ-seeking, living with Christ and acquiring peace and life in Him. Just as you need to apply all measures to despise the demands of the first personage, because their acceptance would be lethal for your soul, you need to apply all measures to fulfil the demands of the latter, because it leads toward eternal life. Take upon yourself the task of doing that which you have understood.

Come to know your soulís wretchedness and constantly and earnestly pray to the Savior that He might save you too. Donít say to yourself: " I am secure, I do not need to worry about anything." The trouble is that you, being in great misery, cannot see it. Your misery is your sins.

How I am corrupted by sin! Something bad and unchaste comes quickly to mind and gets an immediate response in the heart, while that of good and holy is often thought of and spoken about, but is not sensed. Woe is me! Up to now evil is closer to my heart than good. As soon as I think of something wicked, I am ready to do it instantly, and would have done it, and only the fear of God or circumstances restrained me. However to do good is often only desired by the inner person, but lacking in strength or determination to carry it out (Rom. 7:18-19). Often, a conceived good-intentioned act is deferred by placing it into the bottom of the drawer.

A large section of people voluntarily carry the satanic burden in their hearts and because they are so used to it, do not feel it. Sometimes, the malicious enemy doubles their load and then they begin to despair, remonstrate and even blaspheme against Godís name. The usual method to diffuse their internal burden by the people of this contemporary age is ó the theatre, nights out, cards, and dances. But afterwards, the feelings of tedium and discontentment return with even greater intensity. How many people "Öwho have forsaken God, the Spring of living water and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water" (Jer. 2:13). Only when people turn to God do their burdens of sin fall away from their hearts and they begin to realize the reasons for their discontentment, as well as how to combat them.

Let no one think that sin is something insignificant. No, sin is a frightful evil that kills the soul! In the world hereafter, the sinner will be bound hand and foot and thrown into hellish darkness. Our Savior says, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness" (Mat. 22:13). Consequently, it follows that the sinner loses all his spiritual powers. Having being created with an ability for independent activity, they will find themselves fettered with some fatal inertia toward creating good. The sinners will realize within themselves, their individual spiritual abilities and at the same time feel constrained by some unbreakable chains. They will find themselves prisoners of their own sins (Prov. 5:22). Add to this the agony from their realization of their negligence, which displeased the Creator. After all, even in our present existence sin binds and kills the soul. Who among the true believers does not know what sorrow and constriction strikes the soul, what scorching fire rages in the breast after committing any type of sin? For example, if it happens that a God-fearing person retires for the night without repenting a sin that was committed during the day, his conscience will disturb and dismay him all night, until such time as he gets up, sincerely atones for his sin and washes it away with his tears. (This is from experience). Now let us imagine that this man, tortured by his sin, is suddenly taken by death during the night. Is it not obvious that the soul will depart into the next life in torment? And since there is no room for repentance, it will forever suffer in accordance to the gravity of its sins. The Holy Scripture testifies to this (Mat. 25:46; Rom. 2:6, Cor. 5:10 and others).

Like a fog, earthly cares blanket the mental horizon of the soul and obscures the vision of the heart. Therefore, teach yourself not to worry about anything and leave all your sorrows and worries to God. Do not worry when you have to expend in order to assist the needy: this will lead to gr eater generosities from God to you.

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