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On the Spiritual Struggle

Consider those nightmares and turmoil to be a storm roused by the devil's jealousy. The devil wants to intimidate you in the beginning of your spiritual journey, so that you say, "If in the beginning of my journey I encounter such temptations that are beyond my strength, who could possibly endure until the end?" In this way, Satan works his evil craft with experience and skill, making thus a long list of damned souls. But we know his traps through experience. In the beginning the journey is difficult, but afterwards come repose, joy, and high hopes of salvation.

"Beholding the sea of life rising with the surging waves of temptations, I fly to Thy calm haven and cry to Thee: Raise my life from corruption, O most merciful One." (Eirmos from the Ochtoechos, plagal second tone.) Tempests and fair weather, war and peace, health and illness, gain and loss---these characterize the journey of every soul. The end of this journey is death.

So, blessed soul, do not lose heart along the road of your salvation. Together we shall walk the road, helping each other. The grace of God, which heals weaknesses and makes up for deficiencies, will be with us, girding our flaccid thoughts and anointing us with patience, until the command comes from the Ruler of All that we leave our body here and that our soul ascend to the heavens.