St Anthony on the benefits of physical illness

“I know from the teachings of the Holy Fathers that every temptation or illness is sent to us by God as a cure for our infirm soul. For if our body suffers, God forgives our past and present sins and prevents us from sinning in the future. That is why we should wholeheartedly thank the Lord God Who is so merciful to us and turns everything to our benefit and permits us to be ill. Thus, we shouldn’t grumble. This is the reason why I am trying, with the help of God, to endure my illness meekly.… I have never had as much time for reading soul-profiting books as I have now in my prolonged illness, and therefore I wonder—how shall I thank my God for all He has granted me!”- St. Anthony of Optina

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