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Leave it All to God.

Say, "My God, I leave my illness in Your holy Hands, and whenever You - Who love me so much - want to heal me, I will also want it then."

Moreover, at times when we suffer from our lack of discernment, God does not abandon us, but sends His grace and comforts us so that we may bear the burden. Leave it all to God and say: "My God, I leave my illness in Your Holy Hands, and whenever You - Who love me so much - want to heal me, I will also want it then. I only ask Your infinite goodness that You not overlook me, but always give me the patience to bear this cross of mine, until Your will is done again." God loves us, and through involuntary pain, seeks to count us worthy to participate in His most perfect blessings. Unfortunately, we - and I - do not love our soul in a spiritual way. If we loved it, we would endure trials of both soul and body without complaining, in order to attain the eternal blessings.

Pain softens the heart and removes its hardness. As the heart is softened in this manner, the ground is prepared for the sowing of genuine repentance and correction.

We who are cowardly in every affliction chase away, so to speak, the grace of God. When man is prospering, he cannot remember God, and if he remembers Him, it is only faintly. When afflictions or pain approaches, he remembers Him vividly and with fervor. When sorrow oppresses him or when he expects tribulations, then he prays most ardently. And our holy God is pleased with this, just as a mother is pleased when her child seeks her with heartfelt pain, for in this she discerns love.

No matter how man is tried, he always benefits when he shows the corresponding patience and gratitude during the trial.

This is revealed at the end of the trial, when he sees the lightness of his soul, the clarity of his mind, and the sweetness that comes to his inner self. Let us pray to be granted knowledge and patience in life's miseries so that we may gain our salvation. Amen.

+ Glory to God for All Things +

Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona
Counsels From The Holy Mountain: Selected Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim

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