Apropos to the feast of St. Abba Dorotheos of Gaza

Therefore, whoever wants to find true rest in his soul must learn humility and he will see that all joy, all glory and all true rest are to be found there, whilst in pride it is just the opposite. How have we come into all this affliction? How have we fallen into all this misery? Is it not because of our pride? Is it not because of our senselessness? Is it not because we took the wrong decision? Is it not because we chose to impose our bitter will? Why? Was not Man created with every luxury, in all joy, in all rest and in all glory? Was he not in paradise? God said, ‘Do not do that’ but he did it. Do you realise the enormity of his pride? Do you see his obstinacy? Do you see his insubordination? Therefore, when He saw his impudence God said: ‘He is a fool, he does not know how to be happy. If he does not have a hard time, he will be totally lost. If he does not learn what sorrow is, he will not learn what rest is. Then He gave him that what he deserved and expelled him from paradise. Thus, Man was given up to self-love and to his own desires which would crush his bones, so as to learn not to trust himself but the commandment of God. The hardships from disobedience will teach him the calmness that comes from obedience as the Prophet says: ‘Your own wickedness will correct you’ (Jer. 2:19). However, as I said in many ways, the goodness of God has not renounced His creature, but again invites and calls him ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:26). It is as if he is saying, ‘You were labouring, you were miserable, you were suffering through your disobedience; come then, return, recognise your weakness and your shame, so that you may attain your rest and glory. Come, lead a life of humility, you who were dead through haughtiness. Learn from me, that I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls’ (Matt. 11:29).
Abba Dorotheos. On Renunciation, Section 8.


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