Elder Ephraim of Arizona+ on our Struggles
“I pray with all my heart that the blessing and grace of the All-holy Spirit and dew from heaven overshadow, caress, and spread out onto your dear souls and give them God’s freshness, life, and determination for a new struggle in the fight with the passions and the devil.
The holy Elders always speak to us about making a new beginning. Yes, my beloved, we must always be making a new beginning and never give the black and disgusting devil the right to talk to us and advise us through the evil conscience to despair and give up. Despair is a mighty weapon of the devil, and especially in our days, due to our low spiritual condition. He takes the opportunity with our cheap works. We do not have any particular feeling of the divine. Our spiritual struggle is very small, our passions are strong, on the inside and on the outside. Our carelessness is at the maximum, and the negligence of our spiritual duties is certain.
Despite the truth of all this, we will keep struggling bravely and steadily. We will pay no attention to all our enemy’s tricks. We will attach no importance to them whatsoever; only onwards. Faith, trust in God, courage and fearlessness will be our trademark. So no matter how much the black and disgusting devil throws at us now, we will pay no attention to him; only onwards. And if we are injured in the advance, in the attack, we will bind our wounds and only proceed forward for the final victory.
My children, we have such a great Commander-in-Chief—human armies have never seen another like Him in this war. We have our Jesus, the crucified, the meek and humble, Who lifted the great missile on His shoulders—the precious and all-holy Cross—and He shot it in the face of our black enemy, and He cleaned out the strongholds of Hades and gave us His triumph as the spoils of victory.
– Monastery Letter, December 2019