June 7, 2023

Post-Pentecost Reflection of St. Theophan the Recluse

 By St. Theophan the Recluse

After the Baptism of the Lord, when the Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, He descended into the wilderness to be tempted. This is the common path for all. St. Isaac the Syrian remarks in one place that as soon as you taste grace-filled consolation or receive some gift from the Lord, wait for temptation. Temptations conceal the brightness of grace from one’s own eyes which usually consume every good with self-conceit and self-exaltation.

These temptations are also external - sorrow, humiliation; and internal - passionate thoughts that purposely are released, like beasts unchained. Therefore, we must heed ourselves and strictly analyze what occurs with us and in us, to see why it is happening, and what obligations it brings. 

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