All Spiritual Counsels
- YES I DO WANT TO BE SAVED
- WHY SILENCE? WHY THE DESERT?
- WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
- WHY DO MY PRAYERS FOR HELP IN MY DAILY STRUGGLE REMAIN UNANSWERED?
- WHO IS OUR VENERABLE FATHER ARSENIOS OF CAPPADOCIA, THE WONDERWORKER?
- WHICH IS BETTER - THE WAY OF MARY OR THE WAY OF MARTHA?
- USELESS KNOWLEDGE AND IDLE CURIOSITY
- THE WORD OF GOD
- THE VALUE OF MATERIAL THINGS
- THE SECRET TO OBTAINING THE GRACE OF GOD
- THE PRIEST WHO DID NOT WANT TO SERVE THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE SPIRIUTAL LIFE
- THE GREATEST MISSION OF THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE EVIL ONE WARS AGAINST SPIRITUAL STRUGGLERS
- THE BROTHER WHO WAS SAVED WITHOUT EFFORT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T JUDGE
- THE BENEFITS OF ALMSGIVING - AN AMAZING MIRACLE
- THE ATHEIST STUDENT WHO VISITED MOUNT ATHOS
- SOMETIMES EVEN THE DEVIL TELLS THE TRUTH
- SLEEPINESS AND PRAYER
- SINS AND PASSIONS
- SIN - DESPAIR - REPENTANCE
- SHOULD I OR SHOULD I NOT REVEAL MY THOUGHTS TO ANOTHER?
- SEEK NOT THE PRAISES OF MEN
- SAYINGS BY ABBA AMMONAS
- REMAIN SILENT OR SPEAK UP?
- PRAYER AND FASTING
- ON JUDGING PRIESTS
- ON JUDGING
- OF WHAT DOES THE SPIRITUAL SEARCH CONSIST?
- MIRACULOUS SIMPLICITY OF AN ATHONITE ELDER
- MALICE - PRAYER AND ASCETICISM
- LIGHT AND DARKNESS IN THE SOUL
- JESUS AS THE NEW ADAM
- IS REPENTANCE AND VIRTUE FOR LAY PEOPLE?
- IS FASTING NECESSARY? ASK THE DEMONS!
- HUMILITY - THE FOUNDATION OF ALL VIRTUES
- HOW TO DEAL WITH TEMPTATIONS AND PROBLEMS IN LIFE
- FREEDOM THAT ALTERS
- FAITH AND WORKS
- DOES THE DEVIL REALLY EXIST?
- DEALING WITH SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
- COMBATING DESPAIR
- BEFORE THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING
- BE AT PEACE WITH YOUR OWN SOUL
- AUTHENTIC HUMILITY
- ATTACHMENT TO EARTHLY THINGS MAKE US FOREIGN TO HEAVENLY THINGS
- ADVICE FOR PARENTS FROM AN ELDER
- ACCORDING TO ELDER PAISIOS WHEN CAN WE HELP OTHERS SPIRITUALLY?
- ABBA SISOES AT THE TOMB OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
- A PRISONER, A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR AND THE DIVINE LITURGY
- A NEW SAINT DECALRED
BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING
- Categorized in: Spiritual Counsels
St. Peter of Damaskus is one of the most prolific writers in the "Philokalia." Of all the many texts in this marvelous collection of spiritual works, St. Peter's works are perhaps the most accessible and understandable for monks and non-monks alike.
We ought all of us always to give thanks to God for both the universal and the particular gifts of soul and body that He bestows on us. The universal gifts consist of the four elements and all that comes into being through them, as well as all the marvelous works of God mentioned in the divine Scriptures. The particular gifts consist of all that God has given to each individual.
These include -
- wealth - so that one can perform acts of charity;
- poverty - so that one can endure it with patience and gratitude;
authority - so that one can exercise righteous judgment and establish virtue;
obedience & service - so that one can more readily attain salvation of soul;
health - so that one can assist those in need and undertake work worthy of God,
sickness - so that one may earn the crown of patience;
spiritual knowledge & strength - so that one may acquire virtue;
weakness & ignorance - so that, turning one's back on worldly things, one may be under obedience in stillness and humility;
unsought loss of goods and possessions - so that one may deliberately seek to be saved and may be helped when incapable of shedding all one's possessions or even of giving alms;
ease & prosperity - so that one may voluntarily struggle and suffer to attain the virtues and thus become dispassionate and fit to save other souls,
trials and hardship - so that those who cannot eradicate their own will may be saved in spite of themselves, and those capable of joyful endurance may attain perfection.
All these things, even if they are opposed to each other, are nevertheless good when used correctly; but when misused, they are not good, but are harmful for both soul and body.
G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Bishop Kallistos Ware, "The Philokalia: vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 172 - 173.