st ignatius briachaninov


August 13, 2014 + Humility in Dealings with Your Neighbor

by St. Ignatius Briachaninov

Through humility in your dealings with your neighbor, and through love for your neighbor, hardness and callousness is expelled from the heart. It is rolled away like a heavy rock from the entrance to a tomb, and the heart revives for spiritual relations with God for which it has been hitherto dead. A new vista opens to the gaze of the mind: the multitudinous wounds of sin with which the whole fallen nature is riddled. It begins to confess its wretched state to God and implore Him for mercy. The heart assists the mind with mourning and compunction. This is the beginning of true prayer.

On the other hand, the prayer of a resentful person St. Isaac the Syrian compares with sowing on rock. The same must be said of the prayer of one who condemns and despises his neighbor. God not only does not attend to the prayer of one who is proud and angry, but He even permits a person praying in such a state of soul to undergo various most humiliating temptations so that being struck and oppressed by them he may resort to humility in his relations with his neighbor and to love for his neighbor.

November 7, 2012 + Out of My Way, Satan!

by St. Ignatius Briachaninov
From The Arena, translated by Archimandrite Lazarus, Printshop of St. Job of Pochaev, Jordanville, N.Y., pp. 58-59.

It needs to be known that every thought in the nature of contradiction and resistance to the judgments of God comes from Satan and is his offspring. Such a thought, since it is opposed to God, must be rejected at its very inception. An example of this has been given us by our Lord. When He told the disciples about His impending sufferings and violent death, then the Apostle Peter, moved by the natural compassion of the old man, “began to rebuke Him saying, ' Mercy on Thee O Lord! This shall never happen to Thee'.” The Lord answered Peter by exposing the origin of the through that he had expressed: “Out of My way satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are thinking not the thoughts of God but the thoughts of men” [Mt. 16:21-23].

Why is our spirit troubled by the judgments and providence of God? Because we do not honour God as God; because we do not surrender ourselves to God as God; because we do not give ourselves to our proper place before God; because of our pride, our blindness; because our fallen, spoilt, perverse will is not mortified and renounced by us.

Then I shall not be ashamed,
when I regard all Thy commandments.
I will praise and thank Thee with an upright heart,
as I learn the justice of Thy judgments [Ps. 118:6-7].

Thou, O God art my Saviour,
and on Thee do I wait all day [Ps. 24:5],

by bearing generously and good-naturedly throughout my life on earth all the troubles and sufferings which it please Thee to allow me to have for my salvation.

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