On trials and temptations

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

On trials and temptations

Sacred Scripture connects the idea of trial (temptation) with the idea of reproof (exposure)! My son, do not despise the discipline of the Lord, nor despond when you are reproved by Him (Heb. 12:5). This is also evident from those previously quoted words of the Lord: Those whom I love I reprove and discipline (Rev. 3:19). Why is reproof connected with trial? It is because every affliction discloses the passions hidden in the heart and puts them in motion. Till trouble comes, a man imagines himself calm and peaceful. But when trouble comes, then passions of which he was unaware rise up and make themselves felt, especially anger, sorrow, despondency, pride, unbelief. […] troubles accepted and borne in the proper manner increase faith; they show the man his weakness, induce humility and reduce self-confidence. […] Our heart, doomed after the fall to the production of thorns and thistles, is specially prone to pride, unless it is tilled with troubles.

The Arena, St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

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