“Abba Zosimas said: “If one brings to mind someone who caused him to be upset, ridiculed him, hurt him, or has in any way caused him some evil, he should think of him as a physician and from the depths of his heart thank him for these things. …If, indeed, he truly wishes to be cured, it is to his benefit to consider the person who troubled him his benefactor and to accept all the evil things coming from that person as therapeutic medicines that have been sent to him by Jesus.” -The Evergetinos
“The Lord allows the enemy to tempt us in order to prove us, in order to strengthen our spiritual powers in our struggle against the enemy, and so that we ourselves may see more clearly towards what our heart inclines, whether it inclines to patience, hope, and love and in general to virtue, or to irritability, incredulity, murmuring, blasphemy, malice, and despair. Therefore we must not be despondent, but must good-humouredly and patiently bear spiritual darkness that descends upon our soul, the fire that weakens and inclines us to impatience and malice, the affliction and oppression, knowing that all these are indispensable in the order of our spiritual life, that by these the Lord is proving us. Do not let us blaspheme against the true way—the way of holy faith and virtue—and do not let us prefer the evil way. We are free, and must strengthen ourselves by every means and with all our power in faith and virtue, unto the laying down of our life for the way of truth; and how can this be if we have no temptations?”
St. John of Kronstadt
The works of God are wondrous and unfathomable for our darkened minds, but as much as possible, we see from Scripture and our personal experience that the Lord sends sicknesses, sorrows, deprivation, droughts, wars, and revolutions either as punishment for our sins; or in anticipation, so that we do not fall into sins; or sometimes to test our faith. And so, we must bow in reverence before His all-wise Providence and give thanks for His ineffable mercy towards us.
Saint Macarius of Optina
“Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, ‘this is the great
work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins
before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.'”