August 27

The vehemence of our trials and temptations depends upon the degree to which we are debilitated by the passions and infected by sin; and the bitter cup of God’s judgment varies accordingly. If the nature of the sin within us is such that it is easily treated and cured–if, that is to say, it consists of thoughts that are self-indulgent or worldly–then the Healer of our souls in His compassion adds but a mild dose of wormwood to the cup of trial and temptation He administers, since these are merely human ailments by which we are afflicted. But if the sin is deep-seated and hard to cure–a lethal infection of pretentious arrogant thoughts–then in keenness of His wrath He gives us the cup undiluted, so that, dissolved and refined in the fire of successive trials and the humility they induce, the sickness may be removed from our soul and we may wash away our brackish thoughts with tears, thus presenting ourselves pure in the light of humility to our Healer.

~Nikitas Stithatos

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