For the love of our Christ

Let us believe in the power of our Jesus, and the tempter will surrender his weapons and there will be a great calm. For whose love do you bear afflictions? For whose sake did you jeopardize your very lives for the sisters? Out of love, whose command are you carrying out? You will answer: For the love of our Christ, in Whom we hope that all things, through His power, will have a good ending.

Good, very good-for He is the One Who numbers all the hairs of our head. How could we think that anything will happen without His willing it? And if we are protected by Divine Providence what are we to fear? Should we not rather fear Him Who is able to put us into the fire of hell on account of our sins? Instead of having courage and pride in our Christ unto His glory, Who counted you worthy to struggle in this way, you, on the contrary, are filled with grief and thoughts and murmuring. I repeat: You ought to be proud that God deemed you, the base and unworthy instruments of his Divine Providence for the salvation of select souls, for whom our Christ died. Do not grieve, for God’s sake! Do not seek to lose your reward, which will be great in Heaven.

Preaching the divine word is the smallest virtue, but sacrificing ourselves for Him is perfect love; that is, to lay down our lives out of love for our neighbour. Certainly this virtue is laborious and dangerous, but are any high offices attained without labour and toil? Let us not forget the meaning of the divine Crucifixion, that we also ought to become small saviours, when the time calls for it, by the divine will.

Let us see God as our Father; let us rest in the warmth of His secure embrace, for He knows how to arrange everything for our benefit. As humans we-and first of all, I-lose courage in the beginning, so that our human weakness shows; but then the good Cyrenian, divine grace, comes and bears our cross and thus we ascend Golgotha more easily.

Wasn’t our Christ afraid on Gesthemane? What were the great drops of holy sweat for? These and other things characterized the human weakness; but afterwards, as God, quiet and meek as an innocent lamb, He sacrificed His life for the sake of ungrateful man.

Elder Ephraim of Arizona

“Counsels from the Holy Mountain”