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Daily Contemplation

Meshir 19, 1736 – February 27, 2020

“Do not dine with an envious man”
(Prov 23:6, Septuagint)

One must guard against this evil [of jealousy] as much as is possible,
because jealousy is the very passion that afflicts the devil himself.
For the devil was not created devilish at the outset;
rather, he received the authority of an angel, but turned himself into a demonic being…
The devil saw that the man, who was such a small living being,
was nonetheless more honored than every other creature…
By a command the sky was created, by a command the sun, 
by a command vegetation,
by a command the waters, both those spread above the sky and earth and those poured into empty places:
all were created by a command.
But the man was formed by His hands.
The devil saw the honor given to the man, and he became jealous.
He saw that the man was more honored than the sun.
For the one was brought into being by a command, whereas the other was fashioned by the hands of God.
The one was created for the sake of the man, whereas the man for the sake of God:
the man, so that God could be glorified; the sun, so that it could serve human beings.
The devil reflected upon the honor given to the man.
He saw that all else was created first and the man last,
that God provided the man with a fully furnished house, as if he were the head of household.
For He did not make the man first, such that he would be created in a state of poverty.
Instead, He made the sky to create a natural shelter for the man.
He spread the land underneath to give the feet of the man solid ground to walk on.
He caused the land to bloom with all sorts of plants that bear vegetables and fruits.
Everything was given to the man. Beasts of burden were given in herds. The entire created order was created.
So many animals were provided: those that flock together, the wild beasts for exercising the body,
those owned for hard work which they would grow to love,
those willingly at his side who would serve the created man without delay.
The devil saw that the earth spontaneously produced fruit for them.
All creation waited for those who would enjoy it, and the man was brought to feast on it.
The devil saw that God, the Lover of Humanity, was not content with having the man enjoy the earth,
but wanting the man, His very own ornament, to have a special dwelling place, He established him in paradise.
St. Basil

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