January 8 Epistle Reading

Ephesians 6:10-17

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

St. Isaac of Syria in his Directions on Spiritual Training, Text 103 said:

“This world is a contest and a field for contest This time is the time of struggle…the King lays no limit on his warriors until the contest is over; then every man will be brought to the doors of the King of Kings and there tried as to whether he has gained victory in the contest, or has turned his back. There is only one law there: to watch and resist.”

St. John Chrysostom in his Homily 3 on the Statues said (regarding v.12):

“Have you observed the wrestler? Have you observed the soldier? If you are a wrestler, it is necessary for you to engage in the conflict naked. If a soldier, it behooves you to stand in the battle line armed at all points. How then are both these things possible, to be naked, and yet not naked; to be clothed, and yet not clothed! How? I will tell you. Divest yourself of worldly business, and you have become a wrestler. Put on the spiritual armour, and you have become a soldier. Strip yourself of worldly cares, for the season is one of wrestling. Clothe yourself with the spiritual armour, for we have a heavy warfare to wage with demons. Therefore, also it is needful we should be naked, so as to offer nothing that the devil may take hold of, while he is wrestling with us; and to be fully armed at all points, so as on no side to receive a deadly blow. Cultivate your soul. Cut away the thorns. Sow the word of godliness. Propagate and nurse with much care the fair plants of divine wisdom, and you have become a husbandman.”

Elder Paisios in Small Blessing of a Few “Nuts” said:

“Let those who were careless in their life in the world and acquired bad habits patiently accept the enemy’s war, without embracing evil desires. By struggling in this way they will be purified and enjoy the fate of the pure, who neither knew great sins, nor acquired bad habits, nor suffered great warfare from the devil.”

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