June 5, 2012

It Is Better To Bear Five Crosses Than One

From the counsels of Elder Paisios the Athonite:

- Elder, the little cross you gave me to wear continually helps me with difficulties.

- See, such little crosses are our own crosses, like the ones hanging around our necks and protecting us in our lives. What, do you think we have large crosses?

Only the Cross of our Christ was very heavy, because Christ out of His love for us people did not want to use for Himself His divine power.

Further He lifts the crosses of the whole world and He reduces the pains of our tests with His divine help and sweet consolation.

The Good God economizes for each person a cross analogous with his resistance, not to be tortured, but to be raised from the cross to Heaven - because in essence the cross is a ladder to Heaven.

If we understood the treasure we gather from the pain of testing, we would not murmur, but glorify God while lifting the little cross given to us, so that in this life we will rejoice, and in the next life we will receive retirement and a "lump sum".

God has secured for us estates there in Heaven. But when we ask that God spare us from testing, He gives these estates to others and we lose them. However, if we have patience, He will give with interest.

Blessed is the one who suffers here, because, the more one struggles in this life, so much more he will be helped in the next, having repaid for his sins.

The crosses of testing are higher than "talents", the charisms, which are given from God. Blessed is the one who has not one cross but five. Some suffering or a martyric death is clean payment.

So in every test, let us say: "Thank you, my God, because this was needed for my salvation."

Translated by John Sanidopoulos