Posted on The Morning Offering, this from St. Symeon the New Theologian:
“Faith in Christ is… a good and patient disposition of the soul in enduring all temptations, whether griefs, sorrows or unpleasant happenings, until God’s favour looks down upon us; thus we would imitate David who says: ‘I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry’ (Ps. 40:1).”
Unpleasant happenings are my excuse for many kinds of sins, from overeating to speaking quickly and unkindly. If I would, at the first notice of unpleasantness, direct my soul to wait on God, wait to speak, wait to eat, etc., I would be enduring temptation. It appears that not all temptations are of the type from which one can flee, or that can be actively resisted. But in any circumstance we can rest in Christ. I don’t write from much experience.
On the other hand, St. Symeon did. He was abbot of a monastery when the monks attacked and nearly killed him. Don’t be confused by his title; his theology was not new, but he was younger than another man with the same name, hence the clarifier.
The Orthodox Church has given only three saints the title of Theologian. I love that the quote above hearkens back to old theology, that of a man whose tradition was of the school My Soul Follows Hard After Thee.