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Willpower

“In his disobedience and expulsion from Paradise, man lost the grace of the Holy Spirit (My Spirit shall not remain)…Without the grace of the Holy Spirit, man is easily overcome by the devil, for his willpower alone is incapable of resisting the devil's temptations. Furthermore, his will was weakened through his disobedience and expulsion from Paradise. But he willfully refused God's helping grace (every intent . . . was only evil continually)…Nevertheless, His grace was always available to man, but man continually refused it…” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 6:3,5)


“…we are fallen creatures…the only way we can become our own selves again is by modeling our very identity on the God-Man, Christ, Himself. This is why, I realized, so many self-help mantras and routines don’t work. It’s because they assume that all you have to do is change your mindset and convince yourself to act better, and if you apply some willpower, you’ll be ok. Nope, says the combined ascetic experience of the entire Orthodox Church. Given the choice to do what is good for us or what is comfortable or pleasant (but bad for us), we will more often than not automatically choose the bad. Because it’s comfortable.” (Deacon Nicholas Kotar)


“Inevitably, there will be times in our lives when our world as we know it will become unraveled and the rug, upon which sat precariously all our best laid plans, and assumptions about how things “should be,” will be ripped out from under us. The entrance of chaos and upheaval into our previously ordered-ish existence can be faith shattering. It is not at all unusual in seasons of crisis to fall prey to bitterness, disillusionment, anxiety, and disappointment in our own lack of willpower to defeat those passions and spiritual afflictions that ail us.” (Molly Sabourin)

"My Lord encourages me today to “abide in Him” so that I “bear much fruit,” while reminding me, in no uncertain terms, that apart from Him I can do “nothing.” Thus Christ clears up for me the oft-confusing and discouraging concept of “willpower”: It is not a “power” at all, apart from Him. My “will” is only then a “willpower,” when it is in communion with Him, and connected to other “branches,” also in Him." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“How many smart people do we know that are self-destructive in their eating and lifestyles? How many people do we know that mismanage their money and get themselves in unmanageable debt? As we look in the mirror what do we know about ourselves that falls into unwise behavior? If we can point to some unwise behaviors we’d like to change it’s also useful to see how many of these things we have tried to change by our own willpower alone and failed.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Through...struggle, we realize in intimate, personal terms that we cannot save ourselves. The power and the initiative always come from God. It is the grace of God that saves, not our willpower. But, if we want to know and feel the grace of God, we are not released from the never-ending struggle.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“Willpower can be a very good thing when we will to find God’s will. However…The moment we feel we can succeed and attain victory over sin by the strength of our will alone is the moment we are worshiping the will.” (Sacramental Living Blog, Richard Foster)

“To will God's will is essential. Without this, nothing can happen. With it, everything…But to will God's will we need help. We need, first of all, the help of God Himself. This means that we have to pray and to participate in the mystical life of God’s Church…In addition to the direct help of God, so to speak, we also need His help as it comes to us through others.” (Father Thomas Hopko)


#SrDrVassaLarin #SacramentalLivingMinistries #SacramentalLiving #RevChristopherHMartin #RichardFoster #FatherThomasHopko #OrthodoxStudyBible #DeaconNicholasKotar #MollySabourin

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