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Shall the righteous shine forth

Thurs­day. [I Cor. 3:18–23; Matt. 13:36–43] And shall cast them (those who offend and do iniq­ui­ty) into a fur­nace of fire: there shall be wail­ing and gnash­ing of teeth. Then shall the right­eous shine forth as the sun in the King­dom of their Father. Thus will be car­ried out the divi­sion of good and evil, light and dark­ness. Now is the peri­od of time in which they are mixed. It pleased the Lord to arrange that the free­dom of crea?tures should grow and be strength?ened in good through the strug­gle with evil; evil is tol­er­at­ed with­in the vicin­i­ty of inward free­dom, and in con­tact with a per­son exter­nal­ly. It does not deter­mine any­thing, only tempts. One who feels a temp­ta­tion must not fall, but enter into bat­tle. He who con­quers is freed from one temp­ta­tion, and advances for­ward and upward to find new temp­ta­tion there — and so on, until the end of his life. Oh, when will we compre?hend this mean­ing of the evil which tempts us, so we might arrange our lives accord­ing to this understand?ing! The strug­glers are final­ly crowned, and pass on to the oth­er life where there is nei­ther sick­ness nor sor­rows from the out­side, and where they become inward­ly pure like angels of God, free from the sting of tempt­ing incli­na­tions and thoughts. This is how the tri­umph of light and good is being pre­pared, and it will be revealed in all of its glo­ry on the last day of the world.

Saint a Theo­phan the Recluse