Hit and Get Hit

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There was once a monk who happened to slip and sin by himself continually, yet he would always arise at once and do his prayer rule. The demon that kept throwing him into sin lost his patience seeing the courage and hopefulness of this brother. So he visibly appeared to him, and to said to him with vexation:

“Don’t you fear God, you defiled wretch? You have just sinned, so with what face can you now stand before God? Aren’t you afraid that God will burn you?”

But since the brother had a valiant soul, he said to the demon:

“This cell is a forge: you hit and get hit. As God is my witness, Who came to save the world, I will not stop fighting you, falling and getting up, beating and getting beaten, until my final breath – and let’s see who will win: you or Christ!”

When the demon heard this unexpected reply, he said:

“I won’t fight you any more, because if I do, I’ll make you win crowns.”

On Carnal Warfare, “Counsels from the Holy Mountain”, Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Ephraim

 

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