Mar 30th, 2017 by philokalia
In this beautiful section of Homily Five, St. Isaac speaks of how ever-present and close God is to us through his angels and in his actions on our behalf. Why would we be anxious about anything, he asks? We have a God set on our salvation, who does not abandon us in our sin but makes use of every opportunity to raise us up. We must not let anything steal the peace that comes to us from this knowledge. Rather, we must mortify ourselves and never let any opportunity pass us by to serve another or give alms; for in doing so we comfort "His image" - we console Christ Himself in the suffering poor.
God makes use of everything in His Providence to raise us out of sin - He administers sicknesses in body for health of our soul and allows temptations and trials to come to raise us out of negligence and idleness. He orders all things for our profit and in this we are to learn that God alone is our deliverer. We are to use our life in this world for repentance so that we can come to share in our eternal inheritance.
Afflictions spur us on and lead to remembrance of God. It is this remembrance of God that creates a connectivity with Him and draws down His mercy. "Remember God that He too might always remember you."
Isaac reminds us to seek help before it is needed. That is, "before the war begins, seek after your ally; before you fall ill, seek out your physician; and before grevious things come upon you, pray, and in the time of your tribulations you will find Him . . . " Faith must be fostered throughout the course of our lives and our relationship with the Lord allowed to deepen. It is in this that confidence in the spiritual life comes. Fear and destructiion comes from neglect.