by Orthodox Wisdom 32 views
Elder Ephraim encourages a brother struggling with lust and self-abuse (masturbation), inspiring him never to despair and always to repent and trust in God’s infinite mercy. Such temptations are allowed by God to humble and strengthen our will, and such patient endurance wins divine crowns.
A letter from Athos, June 30, 1958 from "Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Geronda Ephraim of Arizona", p. 167-168.
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This excerpt is from "Carnal Warfare - Elder Ephraim & Saint Joseph"
Elder Ephraim writes:
When one struggles against sin with humility and the fear of God, with fervent spiritual work and with the guidance of an experienced spiritual father, God will never let him be lost.
Only one must keep in mind not to despair. Even if one slips and sins ten thousand times a day, it is not justifiable in God's eyes for him to despair, but rather he should be hopeful and prepare for a fight, until God's mercy comes and delivers him.
“…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."
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