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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