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Rise. Shine.

Updated: May 10, 2022

It is later than you think. The truth is that the illnesses, afflictions and tribulations of Christians brings about the cleansing of their soul and the forgiveness of their sins. Every Christian has the sacred obligation to accept with a guileless and simple heart whatever kind of cross God has placed upon him, and to carry it up to Golgotha. Wake up. Rise up. Shine.

Elder Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona

Sometimes a person may fall to their knees under the toil and burden, but God will send another Simon of Cyrene Matthew 27:32 – that is, the grace of patience – who will lift the cross to Golgotha. When we visit a cemetery, we see a cross on every grave – some wooden, others stone, others iron etc. Likewise, God gives a cross to every Christian soul. To one He gives an iron cross, to another a wooden cross, to another a stone cross; each person is given one as the wisdom of God deems best. The main purpose of the Lord is to save our precious soul, regardless of whether or not it suffers in the process. He Himself provides us with the patience and enlightenment, to be able to bear the cross to the end.

Illnesses are the reveille (the wake up) for the soul that has become drowsy with the narcotic drink of ignorance, of forgetfulness of God.

The afflictions felt in illnesses are sent by the holy hand of our good God. The most effective medicine for spiritual health is bodily illness. Illnesses are the reveille for the soul that has become drowsy with the narcotic drink of ignorance, of forgetfulness of God. Illnesses force the soul that has become careless, because of its spiritually harmful physical health, to get back to the right way of life. “In affliction I remembered Thee.” Isaiah 26:16 “In my affliction Thou has made me prosper.” Psalm 4:1 “We must through many tribulations enter into life.” Acts 14:22 “By your patience possess your souls.” Luke 21:19 The slaps of pure love are absolutely never occasioned without a holy and saving purpose foreseen! The Lord tells us in the Holy Gospel that without the will of our heavenly Father, not even a sparrow falls dead, and that the very hairs of our head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-30) How assuring these words are that all our deeds, words, and thoughts are known to God, and that our afflictions occur with His knowledge, are from His providence, and aim at some salvific goal!”

+ Glory to God for All Things +

“Grief will succeed joy, and joy, grief, just as night follows day. This is how the Father of lights has established the path of those who are being saved. Just have patience and hope: engrave these in the depths of your heart-with these, all adversities will be faced.”

Blog Post: Excerpt taken from: Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephaim

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