Saint Peter of Damascus on Despair

St. Peter of Damascus

It is always possible to make a new start by means of repentance. ‘You fell,’ it is written, ‘now arise’ (Proverbs 24:16.) And if you fall again, then rise again, without despairing at all of your salvation, no matter what happens. So long as you do not surrender yourself willingly to the enemy, your patient endurance, combined with self-reproach will suffice for your salvation. ‘For at one time we ourselves went astray in folly and disobedience,’ says St. Paul. ‘…Yet He saved us, not because of any good things we had done, but in His mercy’ (Titus 3:5.) So do not despair in any way, ignoring God’s help, for He can do whatever He wishes. On the contrary, place your hope in Him and He will do one of these things: either through trials or temptations, or in some other way which He alone knows, He will bring about your restoration; or He will accept your patient endurance and humility in the place of works; or because of your hope He will act lovingly towards you in some other way of which you are not aware, and so will save your shackled soul. Only do not abandon your Physician, for otherwise you will suffer senselessly the twofold death because you do not know the hidden ways of God.

* The Burning Bush

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