Orthodox Thought for the Day


Sunday, April 10, 2016

How to handle your difficulties

Sage advice from St. Dorotheos of Gaza: 


…we are men who have no patience and no desire for a little labor and [no desire] to brace ourselves to accept anything with humility.  Therefore we are crushed [by our difficulties].  The more we run away from temptations, the more they weigh us down and the less we are able to drive them away.  Suppose a man for some reason dives into the sea:  if he knows the art of swimming what does he do when a great wave comes along? He ducks under until it goes past and then he goes on swimming unharmed.  But if he is determined to set himself against it, it pushes him away and hurls him back a great distance, and when again he begins to swim forward another wave comes upon him, and if he again tries to swim against it, again it forces him back, and he only tires himself out and makes no headway.  But if he ducks his head and lowers himself under the wave, as I said, no harm comes to him and he continues to swim as long as he likes.  Those who go on doing their work this way when they are in trouble, putting up with their temptations with patience and humility, come through unharmed.  But if they get distressed and downcast, seeking the reasons for everything, tormenting themselves and being annoyed with themselves instead of helping themselves, they do themselves harm.  If painful experiences crowd in upon us, we ought not to be disturbed; allowing ourselves to be disturbed by these experiences is sheer ignorance and pride because we are not recognizing our own condition and, as the Fathers tell us, we are running away from labor…we want to acquire virtue without effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment