A thing that I think Christians, including myself, tend to do a lot is search out scapegoats. If something bad happens to us we blame God: “Why God did you let this happen to me?” If we fall into temptations we blame demons: “The demons were trying their hardest to get me to do such and such and I wasn’t strong enough…” Well, St. Mark the Ascetic has something to say about this:
Afflictions that come to us are the result of our own sins. But if we accept them patiently through prayer, we shall again find blessings.
We often over look that most of the time we are the ones to blame for our actions; it is our own weak nature untried through ascetic dicipline that causes us to fall into sins.
It’s true that the demons are working against us, but I believe that they can only work on the flaws which we already have, and further that they will only work on us when we are doing good. What reason would they have to tempt us if we’re already not reconciled with God?
It’s also true that God will sometimes allow misfortune to befall us, but only so that we might given the chance to strengthen ourselves, to keep our will in good shape, much like a soldier contiously trains so that his skills stay sharp.
But the fact still remains that WE are the weak ones. WE are the source of our sins, and it is WE who will ultimately be held responsible. So let’s stop whining, let’s stop complaining about how hard it is to live like a Christian and how weak we are. Remember, we’ve got as our Commander Jesus Christ and as fellow soldiers each other, the saints in heaven, and the angelic hosts. As St. Mark said, if we persever through our afflictions, if, instead of turning and running, or laying down to die, we fight with everything we have, prayer being one of our chief weapons, then we will find victory!