The second thing that you need to do, if you desire to obtain His Kingdom, is to prepare yourself with diligence, knowing the value and the greatness of this goal. And knowing that whatever is great and valuable in this world it is at the same time difficult, you have to demonstrate bravery and magnanimity towards all the sorrows that you will face for the sake of His Kingdom. You have to withstand them with patience and gratitude towards the Lord, keeping in mind that this treasure – the most valuable pearl (Matthew 13:45-46) – that you work hard for, is so valuable and expensive, that deserves not only the toil and the care you put forward but even more than this, because it was bought by all the Holy Martyrs and Saints who know very well how necessary it was. And they paid by many hardships and efforts and sacrifices of their own blood. However, it was not only the Saints, but also the First of the Martyrs, our Lord Christ, who could enjoy without any toil the Kingdom, because it belongs to Him as the Son and Heir of our God. He preferred to withstand much pain and hardships, with a painful and humiliating death, in order to give us the example that we cannot obtain His Kingdom without temptations and sorrows, without efforts and tribulations.
From the book Salvation of the Sinners by Monk Agapios Landos of the 17th century
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou