St. Theophan: Thoughts: June 5/ June 18

(Rom. 9:18-33; Matt. 11:2-15) “…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” The Kingdom binds itself, that is with poverty with labour, with effort and podvig; therefore, the one who reaches the Kingdom is the one who lives life through much labour and podvig. With this, on the way to the Kingdom, is the denial of every type of consolation. Pleasures of every kind take away from the Kingdom, and now we even have only worries that are about pleasures, rarely spiritual, more fleshly: to eat, to drink, to be happy, to walk and to live in luxury in all ways. The Kingdom said, “I ask you, excuse me,” though in it is a feast, a kingly feast, to which no one comes prepared, the taste we have isn’t right. What is sweet we consider bitter, what is pleasing we are against, what is joyful to us is irksome – it completely clashes with us. The Kingdom with the poor, enrapturing him, moves away from us. We, joyful and ready, quickly would drive them away and our speech about that already leads us away, yes, everyone is crafty that doesn’t manage to accomodate this.
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