– Geronda, why is it so that on feast days we are usually subject to temptations?
– Don’t you know why? On feast days, Christ, the Mother of God and saints are rejoicing and treating us spiritually. They give people their blessing and grant them spiritual gifts. You know, parents also prepare some treat for their children on their birthday, as well as kings proclaim amnesty when the prince is born. Then why can’t Saints treat people with something spiritual on Their day?
We need to say that the joy that we receive from Saints lives in us for long and people’s souls benefit much from it. The devil knows this and this is why he causes temptations so that people lose the Divine gifts they have got, and that the feast brings them neither benefit, nor joy. And then you can see that when a family prepares for the Holy Communion, the devil makes them quarrel, and then then not only miss the Communion but do not go to church at all. The evil one does everything he can to deprive people of Divine support.
The same we can notice in the monastic life. Since the devil knows that feast days bring us spiritual benefit, often he causes temptations on this day, or more often before the feast. He is a seducer – is there anything else he can do? Thus, he violates our inner condition. For example, he can make us quarrel with a brother, and the he brings us sorrow and makes us suffer both spiritually and bodily. By doing this he does not let us take benefit from the feast, to live this day in joy and glorifying God. However, if Good God sees that we did not provide the devil with a possibility to seduce us, and that everything happened only because of his jealousy, then God will help us.
Besides, God helps us to benefit much in case we humbly take the blame for what has happened and do not condemn neither our brother, nor even the devil who hated any good. Well, after all this is his job, to cause temptations and spread evil. At the same time, being and image of God, a human being is supposed to spread peace and kindness.