Do you take the Lord’s name in vain when things go badly? Satan brings you troubles just to hear you blaspheme, says St. John Chrysostom. But he’s like a begging dog: if you don’t throw him any treats, he’ll stop hanging around.
There are some who, if they meet with any reverse, or are slandered by anyone, or if they fall into any bodily malady, any pain in the foot or head, or any other disease, immediately blaspheme. In this way they endure the affliction, but are deprived of the benefit.
What do you think you’re doing, blaspheming against your benefactor and Savior? Don’t you see that you’re on the brink of a precipice, and are throwing yourself into an abyss of utter destruction? Nor do you make your suffering lighter by blaspheming; but you increase it, and make your pain more severe.
This is why the tempter brings so many misfortunes against you: so that he may lead you into that abyss. And if he see you blaspheming, how easily does he increase the anguish and make it greater, so that, being afflicted, you may rebel again. But if he see you bearing it nobly, and in proportion to the increase of the suffering, the more giving thanks to God, he gives up at once, since for the future he would attack you fruitlessly and in vain.
Thus the tempter is like a dog waiting at the table. If he see the man who is eating continually throwing to him some morsel or other from the dishes on the table, he waits patiently. But if, having waited once or twice, he should go away without anything, he gives up for the future, because he has waited fruitlessly and in vain. You starve him, so to speak, and quickly drive him away and make him flee.
–St. John Chrysostom, Four Discourses, 3.7
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I fallen into habits of using bad language when things go wrong?
Have I made any sincere effort to change those habits?
Lord, may your holy, precious, glorious name be blessed in all things and by all people.
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