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Temptation


[Rom. 1:1–7, 13–17; Matt. 4:25–5:13] After the Lord’s bap­tism, when the Spir­it descend­ed upon Him in the form of a dove, He was brought down into the wilder­ness to be tempt­ed. Such is the path com?mon to all. Saint Issac the Syr­i­an notes in one place that as soon as you taste grace-filled con­so­la­tion, or receive some gift from the Lord —await temp­ta­tions. Temp­ta­tions con­ceal the bright­ness of grace from one’s own eyes which usu­al­ly con?sume every good with self-opin­ion and self-exul­ta­tion. These tempta?tions are some­times exter­nal — sor?rows, humil­i­a­tion; and inter­nal —pas­sion­ate thoughts, which pur?posely are released, like beasts un?chained. There­fore, we must heed our­selves and strict­ly sort out what occurs with us and in us, to see why it is hap­pen­ing, and what obliga?tions it brings.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse