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Eternal tortures


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#1 James Scott

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:31 PM

In the past I read the words of a Father or Saint who advised that when we are tempted, we should keep before our eyes remembrance of our own death and eternal tortures; this will help cool the passions.

I've tried looking it up, but I can't seem to find out who said this. I forgot the name of this Saint/Father. Does anyone else know who gave this advice?
Thanks!

#2 Evan

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:52 PM

Mr. Scott,

One finds such admonitions very, very often in the Fathers. St. John Chrysostom on Second Thessalonians (Homily 2) comes to mind:

"When you see anything terrible, think of hell, and you will deride it. When you are possessed by carnal desire, think of the fire, think also of the pleasure of sin itself, that it is nothing worth, that it has not even pleasure in it. For if the fear of the laws that are enacted here has so great power as to withdraw us from wicked actions, how much more should the remembrance of things future, the vengeance that is immortal, the punishment that is everlasting? If the fear of an earthly king withdraws us from so many evils, how much more the fear of the King Eternal?"

In Christ,
Evan

Edited by Evan, 27 December 2010 - 04:08 PM.


#3 James Scott

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:06 PM

Mr. Scott,

One finds such admonitions very, very often in the Fathers. St. John Chrysostom on Second Thessalonians (Homily 2) comes to mind:

"When you see anything terrible, think of hell, and you will deride it. When you are possessed by carnal desire, think of the fire, think also of the pleasure of sin itself, that it is nothing worth, that it has not even pleasure in it. For if the fear of the laws that are enacted here has so great power as to withdraw us from wicked actions, how much more should the remembrance of things future, the vengeance that is immortal, the punishment that is everlasting? If the fear of an earthly king withdraws us from so many evils, how much more the fear of the King Eternal?"

In Christ,
Evan


Wow, I didn't realize there were so many quotes from the Fathers giving this advice.
And thank you for giving me that quote by St. John Chrysostom. I love that advice.

#4 Theophrastus

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 02:48 PM

"Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not." What does it mean to "keep thy mind in hell"? Can it be that we are to use the imagination to conjure up circumstances for ourselves similar to those figures in some primitive painting? In this instance, no. Father Silouan, like certain great Fathers - St. Anthony, St.Sisoe, St. Makarios, St. Pimen - during his lifetime actually descended into the darkness and torments of hell... They took refuge in it when passion - especially the most subtle of passions, pride - reared its head... Blessed Staretz Silouan said that many ascetics when they approached that state - which is vital if one would be cleansed of the passions - would fall into despair and be unable to continue. But the one who knows "how greatly the Lord loveth us" escapes the pernicious effect of total despair and knows how to stand prudently on the verge so that the hellish fire burns away his every passion and does not fall victim to despair. "And despair not." If the Staretz' s account is a simple one, the power and mystery of the matter will remain incomprehensible for anyone who has not known a similar experience of hellish torment, on the one hand, and the great gifts of grace, on the other.

-- Fr. Sophrony




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