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He that endureth to the end shall be saved

[Rom. 8:2-13; Matt. 10:16-22] He that endureth to the end shall be saved. And do we have any?thing to endure? In this nobody is lacking. Everyone’s arena of endur?ance is vast; therefore our salvation is at hand. Endure everything to the end and you will be saved. Howev?er, you must endure skillfully; oth?erwise you may not gain anything by your endurance. First of all, keep the holy faith and lead an irre?proachable life according to faith; immediately cleanse every sin that occurs with repentance. Secondly, accept everything that you must en?dure as from the hands of God, re?membering firmly that nothing hap?pens without God’s will. Thirdly, give thanks sincerely to God for ev?erything, believing that everything which proceeds from the Lord is sent by Him unto the good of our souls — thank Him for sorrows, and for consolations. Fourth, love sor?row for its great saving worth and cultivate your thirst for it, like a drink which although bitter, is heal?ing. Fifth, keep in your thoughts that when a misfortune has come, you cannot throw it off like tight clothes; you must bear it. Whether in a Christian way, or in a non-Christian way, you must bear it nonetheless; so it is better to bear it in a Christian way. Complaining will not rescue you from misfortune, but only make it heavier; whereas hum?ble submission to God’s Providence and good humour relieve the bur?den of misfortunes. Sixth, realize that you deserve even a greater mis?fortune — realize that if the Lord wanted to deal with you as you rightly deserve, would such a small misfortune really be enough? Sev?enth, most of all, pray, and the mer?ciful Lord will give you strength of spirit. With such strength, others will marvel at your misfortunes which seem like nothing to you.

Saint Theophan the Recluse

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