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Tues­day. [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 com­mon 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 con­sume ev­ery good with self-opin­ion and self-ex­ul­ta­tion. These temp­ta­tions are some­times ex­ter­nal — sor­rows, humiliation; and in­ter­nal — pas­sion­ate thoughts, which pur­pose­ly are re­leased, like beasts un­chain­ed. There­fore, we must heed our­selves and strict­ly sort out what oc­curs with us and in us, to see why it is hap­pen­ing, and what ob­li­ga­tions it brings.

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