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The Cross, through obstacles, transports our mind and mood from earth to heaven

"So many obstacles that arise make life difficult for a person, and his days painful! We would say that everything possible that can happen to a person collapses on him: troubles, problems, fear, and pain. However, these obstacles, like athletic achievements, strengthen the body, and for that reason, God does not remove them. They educate the spirit and help it mature, separating it from the earthly and worldly, and accustoming it to rise towards the Living God. By nourishing oneself and being inspired by the Word of God, a person could mature, "renewing day by day," and through knowledge, come closer to God.

However, our hearts are stubborn, and only hard things can compel us to change our way of thinking and living. These obstacles, difficulties, and sorrows, which, although distasteful to us, represent the initial steps toward God, empower us, and teach our souls to follow the crucified Christ. Thus, the power of the Cross transforms obstacles into benevolence, making them divine gifts, spiritual treasures, a reason to glorify God. Still, despite that, we fear nothing as much as we fear sadness and misfortune. But the All-Wise God and the Providential (Oikonomos) Father turn this daily experience of pain and misfortune, which is constantly before us, into a step toward heaven.

He gives us the opportunity not to overcome difficulties but to endure them, so that we do not lose the Kingdom. Therefore, the Cross, through obstacles, transports our mind and mood from earth to heaven, and thus, we acquire divine thought. How many difficulties each day are created for us by our occupations, social environment, aspirations, failures, mental and physical illnesses! How many times our souls at night cannot find peace, and we cannot close our eyes! The carnal man weakens before these difficulties, gets tired, becomes angry and frustrated.

One who, for example, fears illness and wants to be well at all costs, to avoid pain, to keep death at bay, or one who, when everything goes wrong, wants to overcome a work problem or change their social environment so that it does not hinder their spiritual life, falls into the agony of pain. They embitter their own lives, extinguishing their smile continuously, and only death will calm them. From the perspective of the Cross, all these obstacles acquire another dimension, and in the blink of an eye, everything around us that is contrary to God serves as if it bows down to us and is friendly because we cease to demand a change from it, thus changing ourselves..."

Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra

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What a powerful word!

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