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I Must Suffer


Wednesday. [I. Cor. 10:12-22; Matt. 16:20-24] When the Holy Apostles confessed the Saviour to be the Son of God, He said, I must… suffer… and be killed. The work had ripened; it remained only to complete it through the death on the cross. The same thing occurs in the course of a Christian’s moral progress. While he is struggling with his passions, the enemy still hopes somehow to tempt him; but when passions have settled down and the enemy no longer has enough power to awaken them, he presents external tempta?tions, all sorts of wrongful accusa?tions, moreover, the most sensitive. He tries to plant the thought: “So what did you work and struggle for? No good will come of it for you.” But when the enemy thus prepares a war from without, the Lord sends down the spirit of patience to his struggler, thereby preparing a lively readiness in his heart for all sorts of suffering and hostility before the enemy can manage to stir up trou?ble. As the Lord said about Himself, I must suffer, spiritual strugglers al?so feel a sort of thirst for sorrows. And when the suffering and hostili?ty come, they meet them with joy, and drink them in like a thirsting man drinks cooling water.

Saint Theophan the Recluse