I am sick with the flu and feel sharp pains in my appendix. I don’t know what will happen. In any case, glory to Thee, O God.
God loves us and through involuntary pain seeks to count us worthy to participate in His most perfect blessings. Unfortunately, we —and I— do not love our soul in a spiritual way. If we loved it, we would endure trials of both soul and body without complaining, in order to attain the eternal blessings.
Pain softens the heart and removes its hardness. As the heart is softened in this manner, the ground is prepared for the sowing of genuine repentance and correction. We who are cowardly in every affliction chase away, so to speak, the grace of God.
When man is prospering, he cannot remember God, and if he remembers Him, it is only faintly. When affliction or pain approaches, he remembers Him vividly and with fervor. When sorrow oppresses him or when he expects tribulations, then he prays most ardently. And our holy God is pleased with this, just as a mother is pleased when her child seeks her with heartfelt pain, for in this she discerns love.
No matter how man is tried, he always benefits when he shows the corresponding patience and gratitude during the trial. This is revealed at the end of the trial, when he sees the lightness of his soul, the clarity of his mind, and the sweetness that comes to his inner self.
Let us pray to be granted knowledge and patience in life’s miseries, so that we may gain our salvation. Amen.
subm. no. 19
paragraphs: 3, 13*, 16 from pages 42, 48, 52
‘*’ means paragraph was chopped into pieces, perhaps not all of them included.
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu