On When Our Angels Withdraw From Us

St. John of Karpathos ca. 7th cent.

Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him’ (Matt. 4:11). It does not say that the angels were with our Lord during the actual time when He was being tempted. In the same way, when we are being tempted, God’s angels for a time withdraw a little. Then, after the departure of those tempting us, they come and minister to us with divine intellections, giving us support, illumination, compunction, encouragement, patient endurance, joyfulness, and everything that saves and strengthens and renews our exhausted soul. As Nathanael was told, ‘You will see the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man’ (John 1:51); in other words, the ministry and assistance of the angels will be given generously to mankind. (For the Encouragement of the Monks in India 73)

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