“My heart is torn apart…”
It tears me apart, every time I speak
with a person in pain.
My heart is crushed, in a good sense.
I would have regretted it a thousand times, if I hadn’t been hurt,
if I hadn’t empathised with the pain of this person.
Hurting and empathising in such a way is one thing
but sinking and despairing is totally another.
The latter is no good.
There is no end to suffering in this world.
There is no end to pain.
But in all this suffering, a great mystery is hidden!
Nothing else does to us such great good as pain.
Our very own pain
and the pain of our own people.
All the rest can be accommodated.
But pain, which you can feel on your own body,
nobody can take away from you.
You may even be a king: If pain seizes you,
you’ll have to bear it.
You may be given some pitiful aid
to be comforted, which will barely suffice.
Especially when you are dealing with soul pain.
The miraculous thing is that God
when you least expect it
and while you have little awareness of it,
condescends and doesn’t take pity on you,
but allows you to get hurt and suffer something
which is more than a single pain,
precisely becauase he wants to grant you His mercy.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
The mystery of pain in the Orthodox Faith No 2