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Battle Within

“If we are to remain faithful to Christ without being drawn back into sin, we face an unending battle of self-denial. Who can help us win this struggle but Christ? He says, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 6:38). The Lord Jesus does not ask anything of us that He did not also do as a man. He knows the battle, and thus in Him we have an invincible champion…When we love God above all else, His commandments become weapons that aid us in our unseen warfare, those incessant battles fought in and for the soul of every Christian. God’s statutes are lifelines from the Lord. Our merciful God foresees the demons’ intentions and the weakness of our flesh. He gives His embattled children the commandments in order to expose the demons and allow us to gain control over our passions.” (Dynamis 7/30/2020, 6/30/2022)

“There is nothing lacking in the Lord’s great Self-Offering on the Cross for the salvation of the world. All that is lacking is our constant obedience to His calling to deny ourselves and follow Him. Because of our own passions and the brokenness of our world of corruption, the struggle for faithfulness inevitably requires suffering. The Church is our Lord’s body of which we are unworthy members, and we must constantly take up our own crosses in order to find healing for our souls and strengthen the Church in faithfulness. Our suffering is not somehow pleasing to God in and of itself, but results from the inevitable tension we experience in the struggle to die to all that would separate us from Christ. Truly taking up our crosses means embracing the difficult battle each day to reject the distortions of soul that have become second nature to us.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Through our anxiety about worldly things we hinder the soul from enjoying divine blessings and we bestow on the flesh greater care and comfort than are good for it. We nourish it with what is harmful and thus make it an adversary, so that it not only wavers in battle but, because of over-indulgence, it fights vigorously against the soul, seeking honors and rewards.” (Venerable Nilus the Faster of Sinai)

“If we are serious about being Christian, which means striving to be Christ-like through union with Him, we must expect internal conflict. There is a part of us that naturally gravitates to God and everything about Him. But due to sin and our damaged will, we also have opposition to God within us. Just as Adam and Eve brought sin into the world through pride (i.e., seeking life apart from God), we inherited this condition and our life is a continual battle within. The good news is if we are sincere in our desire to follow Christ, this internal battle both lessens and also becomes a way that Christ uses to refine us as we die to pride and self and live in and for Him. He Himself suffered temptation but did not have internal conflict. The more we grow in Him, we become like Him in this way.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Every day, and in many moments of the day, there are choices to be made. We have a choice to choose good and a choice to choose evil. We can choose Christ or we can choose sin. Choosing Christ means to put aside the impulse to sin. It means putting sin to death, squashing it, and then choosing Christ. Of course, no one wins this battle every time. Some days, even with the best of people with the best of intentions, evil wins, we choose wrong. That is the human condition. The challenge, and it is a daily challenge, is to die to sin, to put sin away; and to live in Christ.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

#Dynamis #FrPhilipLeMasters #VenerableNilustheFasterofSinai #SacramentalLivingMinistries #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis

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