A SPIRIT of discouragement seems to be contrary, not only to worldly pursuits, but also to the Christian life. How so? Because the Christian life requires constant spiritual activity, vigilance, manly courage, and strength; but what activity, what vigilance, what strength is there in him who is without energy? Therefore the kingdom of God, in which the true Christian is to be found, is, according to the holy Apostle, “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost;” but what peace, what joy, has ever the man who is wanting in energy? Therefore those who think that the life of a Christian is inseparable from inactivity or want of energy make proof, that they do not know for themselves what is the real spirit of Christian life. No; that spirit is a spirit of light, of vigour, and of strength; a spirit of continual peace, and joy unfeigned. True, the Christian does not attain at once to that blessed state, just as a man who is dangerously ill does not recover his health in a day. But for a Christian, the very consciousness that he begins to recover from spiritual sickness, already gives him both comfort and consolation, which, increasing from day to day, fill his soul with peace and joy.
From Meditations for Every Wednesday and Friday in Lent: On a Prayer of S. Ephraem, our free book for March.