Cling to our sweet Jesus, cry out to Him in your afflictions. Entrust to Him the care of grievous things and He will do good to you.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona and Mount Athos
Many things afflict us, my child, but blessed is he who passes through the grievous things of this present life with patience and thanksgiving. Yes, we ought to thank God, Who through such grievous things prepares our immortal soul to inherit the eternal blessings of the kingdom of heaven!
The Lord disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. Through various afflictions He works in us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all! For this reason it is neither necessary nor beneficial to be indignant when the Lord disciplines us. Rather, it is beneficial for everyone's soul to have perfect obedience to the Physician of our souls, and bodies. Who during various afflictions operates on the invisible wounds of the soul of each one of us, with the holy aim of giving us health - that is, the purification of the heart from vile passions.
To such an omniscient spiritual Physician we have the indispensable obligation to offer unceasing thanks by our actions, so that we do not grieve Him by any offense.
All the saints passed their lives in affliction and manifold sufferings, in spite of the fact that sin did not have any power over them to afflict them. Nevertheless, many times their life was a true martyrdom. Now, what justification will we give - we who have fallen into and occupy ourselves with many sins - to claim the right to pass our lives without afflictions and sufferings? Most certainly we are accountable for sin, and consequently we need the whip of the salvific discipline of the Lord, that we may have the fortune of being saved into the Kingdom of Heaven, by grace of the mercies of our God Who loves mankind.
Why are you sorrowful and glum while walking along the way of God?
Those who have forgotten God, who have no hope in the living and eternal fountain of God, should grieve. But we, who believe in the living God and whose hopes depend upon Him, ought to rejoice that we have such a Father in the heavens. Who loves us more than all fathers and mothers and Who takes infinite care to render us worthy of Him.
But, you say, we fail every moment! Yes, I do not deny it - but we know that our nature is from clay and that it desires the earth and seeks what is base, for "the mind of man is inclined to evil from his youth." And we see within us a law which seeks to capture our free will, to subjugate it and render it a slave of sin.
In all this, however, our good intention triumphs.
God has given us spiritual weapons to fight against every satanic attack; the glorious banner of the cross of hope - living hope in Him Who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" hope in our Christ, who was hanged on the Cross, and all who look upon Him and hope in Him will not be put to shame. The all-immaculate Blood which was poured out on the Cross pardoned the sins of mankind and poured forth life. "Blessed is the man who hopes in Him."
Take courage, my child, this grief of yours will turn into joy.
This grief produces great good for you, it surrounds you as with a breastplate of iron, so that the evil darts of attachment to earthly things do not tear your mind away from the concern for heavenly things and for your immortal soul. Grief will succeed joy, grief, just as night follows day. This is how the Father of lights has established the path of those who are being saved. Just have patience and hope, engrave these in the depths of your heart - with these, all adversities will be faced. Cling to our sweet Jesus, cry out to Him in your afflictions.
Entrust to Him the care of grievous things and He will do good to you.