The Spiritual Struggle

Saint Sophia Cathedral
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Topic of the Week – The Spiritual Struggle

The devil’s always working against us. Every day he neither sleeps nor drinks. Our struggle is against ‘the rulers, the authorities, the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places’ This is why we [stand] ‘with the belt of truth fastened about our waist… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God’. We do what we can, we should resist as far as possible.”

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Everything we do should be for the glory of God and the benefit of souls. We shouldn’t waste our hours and days but should use them to praise God and provide succour to the souls of other people.”
“Nobody gets through this life unscathed. People who suffer have their reward.”

Read all 30 quotes here The Spiritual Struggle | PEMPTOUSIA


If somebody isn’t thinking and says something that annoys you, don’t get upset. Ignore them. Never mind what they said. Is that a reason for you to burn? In cases like that, say nothing. Instead of saying ‘That mother-in-law of mine’ll be the death of me’, say, ‘That mother-in-law of mine’ll be the saving of me’. Let me not do anything bad. Let me not think badly of her when she’s my salvationThe Scriptures say ‘defeat evil with good’.  Let’s not do bad things. Good people don’t do bad things when other people are bad or something unpleasant happens.”

“Do you wonder how the evil enemy of humankind worksHe fights so that we don’t take communion, don’t go to confession. Once, in paradise, he tricked us into eating the forbidden fruit. Now he sets out to stop us approaching the sacraments of the Church.”


We should always see the good in people. Because if we see what’s not good, we’ll certainly see lots of things, because there’s nobody deficient in those.”

Elementary School:

“When an icon-lamp gives light to others, is its own diminished? As long as it’s lit, it’s got light. Often enough, there’s smoke as well- pride- so we need to add oil. The Holy Spirit’s the oil. Then the devil praises you, so that you become puffed up and you won’t get your reward. You have to say ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’. As David did at the time of his repentance, when he was under attack by demonic powers and he cried aloud to God with all his soul: ‘Hasten to help me…let those who seek my soul be ashamed… let those who wish me evil be put to shame… let those whose say to me, “Fine, fine!” be turned back immediately ashamed’. “
We should try and live in moderation. Moderation in speech, in words, in actions, in the way we look at things, in everything. Joy, sorrow and love should all be in moderation. The only exception is God. Him we should love as much as we can.”
If we’re crucified and we suffer with Christ, we’ll rise with Him. But in any case, first comes work, then the reward. The effort always goes before the crown [cf. William Penn: ‘No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown’].”

Middle School:

When we think that spiritual things are difficult, it’s because we’re not trying. God helps.”

If we harbour an antipathy, anger, revulsion, a complaint, it’s like a house that’s not cared for. It gets dusty, the windows become dirty, and the yard fills up with weeds and muck. If you open it, you’re afraid to go in. We have to clean every day, because the devil brings obstacles and makes the house of our soul his own. When he wants to make a nest, he brings in straw and clay and so on. As long as we get rid of what he brings in every day, he can’t make a nest. Even more, if we break his eggs, there won’t be any fledglings.”
In everything we do, we should put Christ first and ourselves lastNot the other way round. Constantine the Great didn’t triumph like that. He won only with the Cross in front of him.”
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High School:

Satan hinders us from doing good. If we manage to, he either makes us regret it or be proud of it. We should do good for the glory of God, for the glory and grace of God and the benefit of souls, not for our own glory.”

Let’s not reproach other people; even if they do us down and do us harm, it doesn’t matter. Because if we reproach them we’ll make them ashamed. Whatever we suffer, whatever people do to us, God takes note of it and it’ll be a cause for us to enjoy greater spiritual gifts. Because what we suffer helps us in the struggle to mortify the passions and find humility. When people strive, they want to be tested, so that they don’t go through the same things again, which would be senseless repetition.”

The day that’s in our best interests is one when we suffer more. If we don’t suffer, we’re like someone who’s opened their shop and nobody comes in to buy anything. It’s not the spectators that win prizes, but the athletes who compete fairly.”


A Message from Maria Spanos

I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria

Two of my favorite quotes:

“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.”  — Saint John of Kronstadt


Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse