Some Good Thoughts

On Doubt and Disbelief

The Holy Fathers consider disbelief a passion just like adultery, vanity, pride, etc. Here the enemy is at work more than the person himself. One must battle with disbelief in the same way as with other passions; not by reasoning and mental debate, but by banishing such thoughts by sheer force of will, saying, “I do not consent to these thoughts!” Also, by prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, which should be as uninterrupted as possible, along with the plea from one’s whole heart for mercy. By the holy name of Jesus, before Whom all the creatures of heaven and earth and lower regions bow down, the enemy’s activity will be weakened, and peace, hope, faith and compunction will enter one’s heart and the temptation will pass.

Brothers through Courtesy

“But pray unceasingly also for the rest of men, for they offer ground for hoping that they may be converted and win their way to God. Give them an opportunity therefore, at least by your conduct, of becoming your disciples. Meet their angry outbursts with your own gentleness, their boastfulness with your humility, their reviling with your prayers, their error with your constancy in the faith, their harshness with your meekness; and beware of trying to match their example.

Let us prove ourselves their brothers through courtesy. Let us strive to follow the Lord’s example and see who can suffer greater wrong, who more deprivation, who more contempt. Thus no weed of the devil will be found among you; but you will persevere in perfect charity and sobriety through Jesus Christ, in body and soul.” 
-St. Ignatius of Antioch

(h/t Fr. Alexander Fecanin, daily e-mails)

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