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Help from God

[I John 3:11–20; Mark 14:10–42] Saint Peter so enthusias­ tical­ly insist­ed that he would not re­ ject the Lord; but when it came down to it, he denied Him, and three times no less. Such is our weak­ness! Do not rely upon your­ self, and when you enter into the midst of ene­mies, place all your hope to over­come them on the Lord. For this pur­pose such a fall was al­ lowed to such a great per­son — so that after­wards nobody would dare on his own to do some­thing good or to over­come some ene­my, either in­ ner or out­er. You must hope in the Lord, but not stop try­ing. Help from the Lord joins our efforts, and thus makes them pow­er­ful. If these ef­ forts are not there, God’s help has nowhere to descend, and it will not descend. But again, if you are filled with self-reliance, and con­se­quent­ly you have no need for help and seek no help — again, God’s help will not descend. How is it to descend when it is con­sid­ered unnec­es­sary?! Nei­ ther, in this case, is there any­thing with which to receive it. It is receiv­ ed by the heart. The heart opens up to receive through a feel­ing of need. So both the for­mer and the lat­ter are need­ed. Say, “Help, O God!” But don’t just lie around.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse