Meeting our Vices with Virtues

In the desert fathers, a certain St. Isaiah presents the temptations as something that meet us along the paths of life.  As we walk through life in the things we normally do, we can encounter these temptations which are looking for opportunities to influence us.  We have to be practiced in the virtues to know how to resist them.

“Let us remember love for the poor, that this love might save us from greed, when the sin of greed shall come to meet us.

Let us acquire peace with all, the humble and the great, that this might guard us against hate, when it shall come to meet us.

Let us acquire patience before all and in all things, that this might guard us against hate, when it shall come to meet us.

Let us love all of our brothers and sisters, without hating anyone or repaying anyone any ill done against us; for this shall guard us against envy, when this demon too shall come to meet us.

Let us love the endurance in humility of our neighbor’s word, even if this word should bring upon us hurt and derision; for humility will guard us against pride, when it too shall come to meet us.

Let us seek to honor our neighbor and not to condemn or hurt anyone; for this shall protect us from gossip, when it shall come to meet us.

Let us despise the cares of this world and its honor, that we might be saved from its bewitching evil, when it shall come to meet us.

Let us teach our tongues to be unceasingly occupied with the commandments of God, righteousness, and prayer, that we might be protected from falsehood, when it shall too come to meet us.”

(St. Isaiah, The Evergetinos: A Complete Text, Vol. 2, p 38)

 

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