A Monk Who Would Not Despair

Orthodox Monks in Greece

Orthodox Monks in Greece

There once was a monk who happened to slip and sin by himself continually, yet he would always arise at once and do his prayer rule. The demon that kept throwing him into sin lost his patience seeing the courage and hopefulness of this brother. So he visibly appeared to him, and said to him with vexation:

“Don’t you fear God, you defiled wretch? You have just sinned, so with what face can you now stand before God? Aren’t you afraid that God will burn you?”

But since this brother had a valiant soul, he said to the demon:

“This cell is a forge: you hit and get hit. As God is my witness, Who came to save the world, I will not stop fighting you, falling and getting up, beating and being beaten, until my final breathand let’s see who will win: you or Christ!”

When the demon heard this unexpected reply, he said:

“I won’t fight you any more, because if I do, I’ll make you win crowns.”

Thenceforth, this brother was delivered from the warfare, and he sat in his cell weeping for his sins.

* This excerpt is from “Counsels from the Holy Mountain” by Hieromonk Ephraim of Philotheou

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