If you want to serve God, prepare your heart not for food, not for drink, not for rest, not for ease, but for suffering, so that you may endure all temptations, trouble and sorrow. Prepare for severities, fasts, spiritual struggles and many afflictions, for ‘by many afflictions is it appointed to us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven’. We should not forget that the Heavenly Kingdom is taken by force, and they who use force seize it because the real pleasure of the real victory is obtained only through pain.
Even if sometimes you feel alone in your trials, if you try to keep close to God’s will, God will send always someone from Him ready to help you. However, He will always prefer to leave you to fight alone in order to give you the fullness of the victory.
The worldly pleasures are just illusions, like clouds without rain moved by winds. Let us seek the eternal fulfillment, the real thing which comes only through pain.
Based on Sergius of Radonezh, Acts 14:22, Matthew, 11:12
A monk with workers are taking stones from the mountain in order to make some earthwork for the olives.