Thursday, September 6, 2007

Benefits Against Our Will

Wherefore both against our will [God] befriends us often, and without our knowledge oftener than not.

St. John Chrysostom gives and example then, of St. Paul praying that the "thorn" be removed from his side, and God responding, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." God was "benefit[ing] him against his will, and without his knowing it," writes St. John.

So we are to give thanks in every circumstances, and give glory to God for all things.

Let us then also, the more we advance in virtue, so much the more make ourselves contrite; for indeed this, more than anything else is virtue. Because, as the sharper our sight is, the more thoroughly do we learn how distant we are from the sky; so the more we advance in virtue, so much the more we are instructed in the difference between God and us. And this is no small part of true wisdom, to be able to perceive our own desert. For he best knows himself, who accounts himself to be nothing."(St. John Chrysostom, Homily XXV, The Gospel of Matthew; NPNF, Vol. X, p. 175)