Use the Opportunity and Listen to God's Voice to Receive the Divine Grace
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
Grace does not act in the scattered minds and the disturbed hearts, but rather seeks the sober and calm spirit, the meek and serious heart.
If the Lord calls
you, hearken to His voice and listen to His command.
Approach Him diligently. Without Him and without listening to His voice, you cannot achieve salvation. God wants to talk to your heart, so be ready always to listen to His voice, and do not harden your heart on hearing His joyful voice, but rather act like Samuel and say: "Speak, Lord, for your servant listens" (I Samuel 3:9).
Be like wax, which is malleable, to accept the image of grace. Do not be adamant, to such an extent that you cannot be affected by it, or become disobedient to the Holy Spirit, lest you hear Him saying: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do" (Acts 7:51).
God will not grant grace at all times, so always be ready for the chance given to you to accept His gifts. God will not visit you at all times, therefore hear His voice when He calls you, for it is said, "For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred up the water; whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made well from whatever disease that person had" (John 5:4).
Beware of negligence and disgrace - if you hardened your heart and did not hear His voice, there will be a time when He will not hear you.
Do not reject Him lest He refuse you.
Do not despise Him lest He desert you.
Do not be like the rich young man who, when the Lord Jesus called on him, went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (cf. Matthew 19:22).
When the Savior was born, the word went out throughout the land and was known to all the Jews. No one went to worship Him except the poor shepherds, who were watching over their flock by night (cf. Luke 2:15), and the wise men from the east (cf. Matthew 2:1).
When He started His mission, it was poor fishermen who accepted His words at first.
Do not prefer the world's voice and shut your ears to Jesus' voice.
Do not be attentive to the lusts of the world and leave the call of grace.
Do not let your soul cling onto the world, thus confining yourself to these boundaries and chains. Free yourself from this heavy burden.
Do not let the vanities and charm of the world trick you, lest its joy turns into sorrow, and its sweetness turns into bitterness.
Do not be deceived by the mirage of this attractive world, where you become a hopeless captive; but rather insinuate over its lusts, and consider all its riches as poverty, all its glory as vile, and all its honor as disgrace.
The voice of the Lord is joyful and charming. Happy is the man who hears Him and follows Him; "Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, to His faithful, to those who turn to Him in their hearts" (Psalm 85:8). Listen, then, and be at peace. Be comforted and enjoy listening to Him. Concentrate with your mind, so your conscience may attain calmness, and you will see peace approaching you. "I will stand at my watch post, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint" (Habakkuk 2:1).
Be very careful to sustain the grace you acquired, and beware of falling.
Flee from all that will drive you to sin, be cautious lest you lose the grace.
Do not lose what you acquired, as you will regret what you did.
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