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[Rom. 1:1–7, 13–17; Matt. 4:25–5:13] After the Lord’s baptism, when the Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, He was brought down into the wilderness to be tempted. Such is the path com?mon to all. Saint Issac the Syrian notes in one place that as soon as you taste grace-filled consolation, or receive some gift from the Lord —await temptations. Temptations conceal the brightness of grace from one’s own eyes which usually con?sume every good with self-opinion and self-exultation. These tempta?tions are sometimes external — sor?rows, humiliation; and internal —passionate thoughts, which pur?posely are released, like beasts un?chained. Therefore, we must heed ourselves and strictly sort out what occurs with us and in us, to see why it is happening, and what obliga?tions it brings.
Saint Theophan the Recluse