Give Thanks Always

 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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“One of the fathers told the following story, saying, ‘I was in the room for receiving strangers, and some poor folk came to receive charity at eventide on the Sabbath, and there was among them only one man who had a mat to lie upon when they lay down; and he threw it down under him, and then reclined upon it. Now it was exceedingly cold, and he took a half of the mat from under him and covered himself over therewith, and he reclined on the other half. And I went out during the night and heard him complaining about the cold, and then the man turned to himself and said, ‘I give thanks unto You, O Lord, because how many are the rich men, and the owners of possessions who are at this present moment lying in irons, and in afflictions, and in prisons, and there are, moreover, others whose feet have been put into the stocks, who are unable to turn round to any side, while I, like a king, can spread out my feet and lie down, and besides this, I can go wherever I so please.’ And when he had said these things, now I was standing up listening to him, I went in and told them to the brethren, and they benefited by the words of that poor man.” (The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, pp 218-219)

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