I have no fear. Because I have given myself to Him, because I have surrendered myself to Him, I have no fear. I’m on my way to heaven.
Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery Mount Athos
We must say “yes” to every thing that befalls us, as we would say “yes” to a royal garment that God would have us adorned with to appear before the Heavens in wonderful dignity, whether it is poverty, sickness, loss, failure.
When we try to overcome all these: to change ourselves to be better in order to start a spiritual life, when we desire to change our environment, to change people around us in order to inaugurate a more spiritual life, when we want the evil ones to become good, the immoral persons to become moral, the unjust to be just, the liars to become truth-tellers, the carnal spiritual, then we fall into the greatest temptations and reach the end of our lives without having known the mysteries of the heavenly life, living not as servants of God but as servants of our selves deluded into thinking we are serving God.
So saying “yes” to illness, to difficulties, to stumbling blocks, …to God’s providence in whatever form it comes to us… is key.
Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra, from the personal notes of one of his spiritual children, copied during a lecture the Elder gave.
All that I have is… my “affliction,” and my “calling out” in that affliction. My affliction is my asceticism, it is my practice, my way of life, something that I offer to God. This is my sense of purpose, my will – or at least my wish – to struggle and endure affliction, for this is the cry of my heart. All the rest belongs to God; I can do no more.
But because I have given myself to Him, because I have surrendered myself to Him, I have no fear.