Word of the Fathers
ISACC THE SIRO
The certainty of faith reveals itself to the soul in measure of the elevation resulting from behavior, in an attitude that tends towards the commandments of our Lord.
Faith is the wing of prayer. If you trust God's plan, and if you believe that he is watching over all that you do, then do not use the astuteness of men. Everything is possible in faith, if the man's gaze is on God and not on things.
Neglect and laziness deprive the man of God's help and, as a result, shake the faith of man into God. In the midst of temptations one gains a certain faith, thanks to the long experience of divine help. Faith needs a pure and simple mind, far from any analysis and every means of research.
As long as the soul has not gained the thrill of faith in God, the ability to perceive its power, the weakness of the senses cannot be healed, it is possible to dominate strongly the visible matter that it shapes to what is internal and cannot be perceived.
Those in whose hearts the light of faith has risen no longer have the impudence to pray for themselves. Nor do they have the impudence to ask God "Give this" or "Give that". There is nothing about themselves to worry about. Through the spiritual eyes of their faith, at all times, they contemplate ... the true Father who, in his incommensurable love, ... has the power to provide for us in an overwhelming way, beyond what we ask, desire and think.
Faith in all that is right is opposed to the laws of knowledge. Such is the definition of knowledge; outside of examination and research, it has no power to do anything. Knowledge defines nature and preserves it in all its ways; but faith goes higher than nature. How? The body cannot walk on the fluid surface of the water, and the one who ticks the fire burns, and it is dangerous to behave contrary to such laws. And knowledge is careful to respect them. Faith, on the other hand, commands on them and says: "If you have to pass through the fire, you will not scatter and the rivers will not overwhelm you" (cf. Is 43.2) ... Thanks to faith many have entered the flames of flames ... they walked on the sea as on the mainland. In fact, all these things are higher than nature and contrary to every method of knowledge.
There is no knowledge, however large and rich it may be, that you do not miss something. As for faith, heaven and earth could not contain treasures. He whose heart is founded on the hope of faith never misses anything. He has nothing, but for the faith he owns everything. Knowledge lies everywhere the praise of fear. But what does faith say? This: "He is impatient and began to sink" (Mt 14.30). And again, "Do not be afraid of their sight; otherwise I will make you afraid of them" (Ger 1:17). Knowledge orders to examine everything from start to finish, and only then do we get to work, fearing to labor unnecessarily. But what does faith say? "Everything is possible for those who believe" (Mk 9: 23-10.27).
Oh, unspeakable wealth! How much confidence, how much pleasure and hope there is on his journey. How light are the burdens charged? Who has been worthy to enjoy the sweetness of faith and return to the "psychic" knowledge, to whom does he look like? To the one who has found a precious pearl and exchanges it for a piece of leather. Knowledge is not to be refused. But faith is superior to it, if we reject it, it is not the knowledge that we refuse. Knowledge is a degree through which one ascends to the height of faith.
The faith we talk about here is not what we believe in the Holy Trinity we worship or in the wonderful economy of the Incarnation.
Here is what I call faith: the intelligible light which, by grace, lies in the soul and leaves no room for doubt confirms the heart in the certainty of hope. Such faith cannot be transmitted through oral tradition, it is the power of the Paraclete himself who, thanks to the power of faith, flashes like in the fire all parts of the soul. He launches and in his hope of God he despises every danger.
Ask God to allow you to come to the measure of faith. Pray, therefore, without waiting, ask with tears, ask ardently; pray with all your heart until you have received it. These things will be given to you if, first of all, with all your faith, you are doing violence to entrust your concern to God and to replace your providential provision with God's providence. So when he sees your will when he sees that full of purity of heart, you want to trust in God in the things that matter to you and that you have made violence to your soul in order to hope for him more than expected, then that unknown power will put his dwelling in, so you will feel the power in all your senses.
But if you let yourself be taken by the knowledge of the world, it will be easier for you to get rid of iron links than it does. You will never escape the traps of error. You will never be free and confident before God.
Pray in all simplicity, from the bottom of your weakness, in order to live well before God, and you will live without worry. So if you want to live in the things of God, do not leave room for sick thoughts. If all the afflictions, the maladies and the dangers surround you and frighten you, do not take care of them, do not think about them.
If once you have been entrusted to the Lord, who is enough to guard you, and if you follow him, then do not worry about anything else. Then you will behave the wonders of God: how he is near at all times and frees those who fear him and how his providence surrounds them, though it is invisible.
Faith also requires works. Hope in God requires the witness of knowledge and this is born of the fatigue of virtue. A fearful man manifests two illnesses of his nature: love for the body and the weakness of faith. The boldness of the heart and the contempt of the danger proceed from one of these two causes: either by hardness of heart or by profound faith in God. But the first adheres to pride, the second the humility of the heart.
"Watch and pray" (Mt 26.41) ... "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and find, knock, and it will be open to you, for anyone who asks receives and whoever seeks and who knocks it will be open" (Mt 7, 7-8). Blessed is the unspeakable encouragement of the one who gives and urges us to ask him: "Ask me and I will give you my divine charisms." And the Lord provides for us, in all that we need, as he knows. These words give us courage and confidence. If you are unafraid of the virtue of perseverance, do not expect to obtain a true consolation from prayer; each work is measured by the perseverance it puts on. Any spiritual activity (prayer, fasting or vigilance) without perseverance does not bear fruit; because then, despite your effort, it is as if you had only begun.
The wing of prayer is faith. If I please without this wing, my heart will abandon it. Faith means firm steadfastness of the mind that has ever been shaken by some sort of difficulty. Those who possess it know that God can do everything, and if he believes, he will get it. Faith therefore opens the door of good hope, the thief showed. Do not say that you have not obtained what you have been asking for for a long time because you have profited spiritually. What better sublime indeed can there be to be united with the Lord and to persevere in the uninterrupted union with him?
BASILY THE GREAT
Therefore, we must address our questions with great care, according to God's will. If we are not heard then we must know that it is necessary to persevere and even insist strongly, according to the Lord's parable about the need to "pray always without ever tiring" ( Lk 18: 1), and according to what he said in another passage: "Because of his impurity he will rise up to give him as many as he needs" (Lk 11: 8).
ANTONIO THE GREAT
My children, I am not tired of praying to the Lord for you, so that you may acknowledge the grace that has been reserved to you. In fact, God, in his mercy, makes everyone vigilant through the means of his grace. So do not be tired, my children, and do not neglect to invoke the Lord day and night in order to induce the goodness of God the Father to give you help from above and to teach you what you must do.
MACARIU THE GREAT
Who, because of God's dilation and patience, does not immediately receive the grace, it inflames even more. But the Lord is different and delayed by testing the faith and love of his will with the more ardent, tireless, intense and tireless ardor he must look for the gift of God, having once believed for all and with full certainty that God does not mind and truth, he promised to give his grace to those who asked him in faith and perseverance until the end.