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Perfection and Suffering

“…the spirit of Christianity is a spirit of perfection. "Be ye perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) This does not mean that a Christian considers himself to be perfect or at least "close to perfection" in essence—contrary to all sobriety and humility. No, rather this means that a Christian has before his spiritual gaze the perfection of the divine, and he measures all earthly actions and circumstances by that standard…every perfection begins with the heart and is accomplished in spiritual freedom.” (Ivan Ilyin)

‘For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’ (Hebrews 2:10). To make perfect does not imply moral imperfection in Jesus, but only the consummation of the human experience of sorrow and pain through which He must pass in order to become the Cause of our salvation.” (Holy Apostles Convent)

“To have perfected through sufferings means suffering are a perfecting and a cause of salvation showing,...that suffering for anyone, not merely profits him, but he himself also becomes more brilliant and perfect.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“…perfection of the Christian life is in extreme humility. This means that patient long-suffering is what we most need in this life. We must bear everything patiently and forgive all. If we have good thoughts and desires, these thoughts will give us peace and joy even in this life, and even more so in eternity. Then we will see that there is no death, that the Lord has vanquished death, and that He has given us eternal life!” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Evidently we are not yet perfect, but at least we desire to be so, and this is the beginning of our salvation. For from this desire we shall come in God's company both into the combat and through the combat.” (Dorotheos of Gaza)

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