The Causes Of Sin

In the New Testament, there is an epistle by St. James, addressed to all Christians. It contains all teaching of the apostle in brief. Though it is short, it demonstrates the capacity of his heart.

The epistle begins with an exhortation that shows the depth of experience he has in the struggle for salvation. It is an appeal that may sound strange to us nowadays, as our main concern seems to seek comfort and pleasure. It suits us to often find excuses as to avoid starting on the serious task of attending to our spiritual wellbeing of our souls.

St. James emphasizes: “Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect” [James 2-4]. In other words, the holy apostle is saying: Accept the trials that God allows to befall you as blessings. Not as a curse. We grow through adversity, not pleasure. Just as our bodies from infancy on grow by being exposed to viruses, attacks and various hardships, so our souls grow through adversity.

Gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. There are proven benefits to expressing gratitude:

Gratitude
1. Opens the door to more relationships
2. Improves physical health
3. Improves psychological health
4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression
5. Improves sleep
6. Improves self-esteem
7. Increases mental strength

Gratitude can be expressed in many different ways and can be applied to the past, the present and the future. Gratitude helps us to refocus on what we have instead of what we lack. It grows stronger with use and practice. Here are a few ways to practice expressing gratitude regularly:

· Thank someone mentally and/or verbally
· Write a thank-you note
· Keep a gratitude journal or list of things you are thankful for · Count your blessings
· Meditate
· Reflect

22 November, 2019 13:52

In the person of St. Mary the transition from the Old to the New Testament is already complete. She is in the temple and will soon herself become the temple of the Son and Word of God, Jesus. She is a more holy temple than the one in Jerusalem and the greatest of all temples, that is, she is what all of us have as our objective to become, given the premises created by the resurrection and by the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Advice

Our Guardian Angel rejoices over our good deeds and grieves when we do evil. We should try to live in such a way that the Angels may rejoice at our lives.

To avoid sin, one must know what the will of God is. This is what we learn from our conscience, and this is what we learn from the Holy Scriptures.

The person who always has a prayer on his lips and in his heart, coupled with repentance, is a difficult target for the evil powers because prayer protects him.

These are challenging times, but these are also times when you need to be attentive to yourselves, so that political passions and human wisdom would not lead us astray from the path of the right faith. If we keep our faith pure, if we try to live by faith, God will send us peace and tranquility. However if we sink into the abyss of human passions, enmity and confrontation, then, of course, we will stray from the Lord’s way, and it will not do any good.

The ability to tolerate one’s neighbor is the wisdom of life. One should perceive one’s neighbor as he is. Do you want him to be better? Pray for him. God can make him better. This is how Christian patience manifests itself.

Just as a person suffocates without air, so a soul without prayer becomes dead and insensitive. Prayer is necessary not for God but for us; it is like spiritual oxygen without which a person dies. This conversation with God provides a source of life for a person.

It is one thing when people shed blood for Christ, and the other when they tolerate abuse, insults and resentment for the sake of their faith. Such people receive the crown of bloodless martyrdom.

Thoughts filled with love, mercy, patience and respect attract God’s grace, and those that harbor anger, hatred and pride drive it away. If we are overcome by anger, hatred and pride, it indicates that God’s image within us is damaged.

Nowadays, we need to live according to Christian laws and not according to the laws of this world. There is no need to watch how the world lives; it is governed by somewhat different rules.

If God’s grace is lacking, a man can be placed in the most beautiful place, surrounded by all the benefits of the world, and he will yet be unhappy.

The more one collects earthly goods, the more desperate one becomes, because they do not bring spiritual joy. You can collect all the treasures of the earth and put them in front of you and still be the most miserable person.

Sorrows are a spiritual lesson by which a man learns his weakness and the power of God. The harder the sorrow, the deeper the lesson is. All we have to do is to endure these tribulations with patience and gratitude to God.

You do not have to wait. Great things are made by great people, and we are small people. Hence, we have to do small things.

Love for our enemies is not easy, but we must pray, read the Holy Scriptures, coerce ourselves and be patient in dealing with those who hurt us.

During our earthly lives, we need to make sure we have a decent garment for our souls. Our soul garments are soiled by sin. We must repent immediately after we have committed a sin.

Courage means going against the current. Only dead fish flow freely wherever the river flows, while living fish flow upstream to the pure spring and the pristine environment. Only those who have been able to summon up some measure of humility are capable of true courage.

They say there are a lot of restrictions in Christianity, but that is not true. Anything is all right but in good measure and with reason. The saints show us how little we really need for survival.

If a person pays attention to himself and lives a decent life according to God’s commandments, then he feels the presence of God inside him, beside him and in the whole universe.

Every man is a vessel of God’s grace. By touching a person, we touch the grace of God.

(Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kiev and All Ukraine)

~~ Sent from mobile computer ~~