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On Giving Thanks to God For All Things (St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite)


Job’s imitator, divine Chrysostom, at all times used to say this memorable quote, whenever: “Glory be to God for every part. I can’t cease repeating it at all times, for every part that occurs to me.” The nice Gregory Palamas of Thessaloniki used to say the identical in each matter, imitating the divine Chrysostom, who added together with his eloquent tongue: “So allow us to give thanks for every part, for no matter occurs, that is thanksgiving. For to do that when all goes properly isn’t any good thing, as a result of the very nature of issues prompts it. But if we give thanks whereas we’re within the depths of misfortune, that is admirable. Indeed, after we give thanks for these issues which others blaspheme and are discouraged by, see how a lot philosophy there’s! First, you make God glad. Second, you might have shamed the satan. Third, you might have confirmed that what occurred was nothing. That is, on the similar time that you simply give thanks, God removes the sorrow and the satan retreats.There is nothing holier than the tongue, when within the midst of misfortune it provides because of God. Indeed, it’s not inferior in something to the tonguee of the martyrs. It is likewise topped. Because it additionally has an executioner earlier than it, who forces it to disclaim God by blasphemy. It has the satan, who tears it with lacerations by impure ideas, and darkens it with sorrow. Therefore if anybody endures struggling with thanksgiving, he has obtained a crown of martyrdom.

Basil the Great additionally says: “It is disgraceful when issues are favorable to bless God, however in occasions of misery and hardship to stay silent. It is then that we should always thank Him much more, figuring out that ‘whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges each son whom He receives’.”

What am I saying? Not solely should one thank God for the sorrows and temptations of this current life, however he should additionally thank Him for hell within the hereafter. For even hell is worthwhile and helpful for the damned. Why? Because hell is an impediment to sin and evil, that’s the reason it is usually referred to as hell, as a result of it punishes, and it prevents evil. If there have been no hell, sin and evil would prolong into infinite house and by no means finish. That is why essentially the most smart Mark of Ephesus mentioned this which paradoxical to the ear, but it’s a true and sure saying, specifically that it’s worthwhile for the damned to be in hell. Hence the trustworthy Theoktistos the Studite, in a troparion to our Lord Jesus Christ, says actually: “And in hell I give thanks,” as a result of hell is just not evil in itself, reasonably it is usually good. On the one hand, as a result of it prevents and reduces sin and doesn’t enable it to be lively indefinitely, as we mentioned, and then again, as a result of hell is a penalty and punishment for evil, and with it God’s justice is fulfilled. Hence, though hell is just not God’s prior will, it’s his subsequent will, in keeping with the sacred theologians. And sin alone is evil in itself, and it doesn’t occur in keeping with the prior will of God, nor in keeping with the next, however in keeping with the malicious will of man.

That is why divine Chrysostom says the next to Christians: “Let this be your work, to present thanks in your prayers for each the seen and the invisible favors, each for those who had been in accordance together with your will and for those who weren’t. Let us do likewise for the dominion of heaven and for the fireplace of gehenna, and in tribulation and in consolation. This is how the Saints are accustomed to hope, and to present thanks for widespread blessings. I do know a holy man who prays on this method. He mentioned nothing earlier than these phrases: Thank you Lord for all of the favors you might have proven to us unworthy ones from the primary day till this present day. For those who we all know and for those who we have no idea, for the seen, for the invisible, for those who had been achieved by work, for those who had been spoken, for those who had been achieved by our will and for those who weren’t, for all that has been achieved in us nugatory ones. For sorrows, for comforts, for the fireplace of gehenna, for hell, for the Kingdom of Heaven.”

And Saint Isaac mentioned that whoever provides thanks motivates his benefactor to present him extra favors: “The thanks of the recipient stimulates the giver to present items higher than the earlier ones.” And once more, the identical divine Isaac says: “Whoever doesn’t give thanks for the least, for the higher he’s a liar and unjust.” And additionally: “What leads the items of God to man is the center moved to unceasing thanksgiving.”

Be subsequently, O man, grateful to God for every part, “bless Him always, let His reward be at all times in your mouth.” If you might be wholesome, well being is a present from God. If sick, illness of the physique is salvation of the soul. Therefore by no means let the glorification of God be absent out of your mouth. In every part give because of God, to Him be the glory and energy unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Source: From the ebook The Interpretation of the 14 Epistles of the Apostle Paul (Colossians 4:15). Translation by John Sanidopoulos.

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