Elder Ephraim on Trials & Temptations

Hieromonk Ephraim of St. Anthony's Monastery, Arizona.

Hieromonk Ephraim of St. Anthony's Monastery, Arizona.

God allows temptations so that they might rouse us to remember Him. When we call upon Him, He acts as though He does not hear us so that we multiply our supplications and cry out His holy name, in fear of the various passions. Then, through pain of the entreaties, our heart is sanctified, and through experience we learn the weakness of our lame nature. And thus we realize in practice that without God’s help we are not able to do anything.

This deep experience is acquired with the blood of the heart and remains indelible; it becomes a foundation for the remainder of one’s life. The grace of God leaves and comes again, but experience never leaves, because it has been branded within the heart. And no matter how much Satan praises the heart, it points to what is indelibly written within its depths, that without God it is impossible to do anything.

If there were no temptations, pride and other passions would have turned us into other Lucifers. But our good Father, God, allows afflictions to come upon us so that we may be guarded by humility, which will lighten the burden of our sins.

When we are still in our youth, we must be tempted, for youth is easily derailed. In time the war will cease and the desired peace will come. Just have courage and patience. Do not despair, no matter how much the passions may fight you. God loves one who is fought against and fights back. Be brave, and pray also for me, the indolent, the unclean, the unworthy, the abomination!

Taken from the book: Counsels from the Holy Mountain by Elder Ephraim


3 Responses to “Elder Ephraim on Trials & Temptations”

  1. 1 john June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    This man is holy. The presence of the holy spirit is around him when you have a conversation with him.

    He’s helped me in my life. Elder Joseph I love you forever. Pray for my unworthy soul. I’m the most filthiest person on earth. Please pray for me so god may shine some light upon this horrible and dreadful body of mine. Amen

  2. 2 Cristina June 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

    May we have the blessing of Elder Ephraim, and his Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Father Joseph, pray to God for us.

  3. 3 fatsmar July 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Absolutely, John: Elder (Geronta) Efraim is holy. He is definitely a man whose closeness to, and great love for, Our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus has in turn imbued with him a fervent desire to let us in the world know just how much God loves us all, as we are all the work of His Holy Hand!

    May the Good Lord keep Geronta and his fellow monastics (both the ones here and those that are abroad!) strong, safe, and well for many, many years to come, AMEN!

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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