We should all give thanks to Him, as it is said: “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18).

Closely linked to this phrase is another of St Paul’s injunctions: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), that is, be mindful of God at all times, in all places, and in every circumstance.

For no matter what you do, you should keep in mind the Creator of all things.

When you see the light, do not forget Him who gave it to you; when you see the sky, the earth, the sea and all that is in them, marvel at these things and glorify their Creator; when you put on clothing, acknowledge whose gift it is and praise Him who in His providence has given you life.

In short, if everything you do becomes for you an occasion for glorifying God, you will be praying unceasingly.

And in this way your soul will always rejoice, as St Paul commends (cf. 1 Thess. 5:15).

For as St Dorotheos explains, remembrance of God rejoices the soul; and he adduces David as witness: “I remembered God, and rejoiced” (cf. Ps. 77:3. LXX).

God has done all things for our benefit.

We are guarded and taught by the angels; we are tempted by the demons so that we may be humbled and have recourse to God, thus being saved from self-elation and delivered from negligence.

On the one hand, we are led to give thanks to our Benefactor through the good things of this world.

[…] We are led to love Him and to do what good we can, because we feel we have a natural obligation to repay God for His gifts to us by performing good works.

It is of course impossible to repay Him, for our debt always grows larger.

On the other hand, through what are regarded as hardships we attain a state of patience, humility and hope of blessings in the age to be.

[…]  Indeed, not only in the age to be, but even in this present age these things are a source of great blessing to us.

Thus God in His unutterable goodness has arranged all things in a marvellous way for us.

And if you want to understand this and to be as you should, you must struggle to acquire the virtues so as to be able to accept with gratitude everything that comes, whether it is good or whether it appears to be bad, and to remain undisturbed in all things.

Peter of Damascus (?12th Century): A Treasury of Divine Knowledge  Text from G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware (trans. and eds.) The Philokalia: The Complete Text, vol. 3 (Faber & Faber, London & Boston: 1979ff), pp. 173-174.

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