The Seventh Similitude
The affliction comes to provoke repenting:"...thou shouldest be afflicted for a while, that they also may repent
and cleanse themselves from every lust of this world.
When therefore they repent and are cleansed,
then the avenging angel shall depart."
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.2)
The head of the house bears a bigger responsability and may suffer because of his family:"The Glorious Angel is angered, yet what have I done?
They, quoth he, cannot else be afflicted except thou,
the head of all the house, be afflicted; for when thou art afflicted
of necessity they too shall be afflicted, but so long as thou prosperest
they can suffer no affliction.
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.3)
The delay time between repention and healing."Thinkest thou then that the sins of those who repent are straightway remitted?
By no means; but he who repenteth must vex his own soul,
and humble himself mightily in all that he doeth, and be afflicted with all the
different afflictions; and if he endure the afflictions that come upon him,
He who created and strengthened all things will surely have mercy and
grant an healing.
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.4)
The afflictions of the righteous are shown before:"And herein thank thou the Lord, for that He hath accounted thee worthy
to have thine affliction shewed thee before, so that foreknowing it thou mayest
bear it stedfastly." (Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.4)
The Lord is with us during the affliction period too."6. I said to him, Sir, be thou with me,
and I shall be well able to bear all adversity.
I, quoth he, will be with thee; and I will also entreat the avenging angel
to afflict thee more lightly.
Yet a little while thou shalt be afflicted, and again thou shalt be restored
to thy house; only continue to be of lowly mind and serve the Lord
with a pure heart, thou and thy children and thy house,
and walk in my commandments which I command thee,
and thy repentance shall be able to be effectual and pure. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.6)
If we keep these commandments the afflictions shall depart."7. If thou keep them, with thy house, all affliction shall depart from thee;
and affliction, quoth he, shall depart from all such as walk in these
my commandments. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 7th Sim. 1.7)