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The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana


 
 
 

 

 


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IN THE SWEAT OF YOUR BROW YOU SHALL EAT BREAD

        In the beginning, God gave us a life free of anxiety and fatigue.  But, we misused his gift, we lost them through our laziness and have been driven out of paradise.  From that moment, life has become painful for us.  God has explained why, more or less, in these words: 

        "I have granted you a pleasurable life but, in your prosperity, you turned to evil.  For this reason, I am imposing on you pain and sweat.  The earth will produce thorns and thistles.  You will have to toil with much weariness and pain.  I will make you  live with suffering all the time, so that it may be a curb to keep you from entertaining an idea of yourself that is above what is right.  In this way, you will always have with you a realization of your nature that will not let you be deceived a second time.   

        When I introduced you into the world, I, God, wanted you to live without suffering, without pain, without weariness.  I wanted you to live in joy, without the restraint of the body's needs and, therefore, in freedom.  But since this security does not suit you, I am cursing the ground on your account.  It will not yield you its fruits as it did, unless you plough it and work it and suffer.  As for food, "In the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread."   

St. John Chrysostom

 

 

 

 

 

(10-26-10)

 

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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