Monk Moses the Athonite
Today many people suffer in many ways and because of this they worry a lot. There is no one who doesn’t go through this furnace. It’s about a powerful universal experience. The deep and manifold pain usually brings sadness, sorrow and anxiety. The sickness reminds us of the terrible death. The trials we go through ruin our plans, destroy them, and change what we planned.
The age of welfare doesn’t allow any pain. Only speaks all the time about happiness, comfort and the unshaken love for matter. There is an aversion towards pain, painstaking and toil. The man wants to get everything quickly, easy, without effort, without any expense or delay.
But pain brings a rich gain and a great benefit to the one who suffers it. When you suffer you think about yourself, about your wasted life, about your unsafe future, about your mistakes, passions, useless words and numerous shortcomings. You pass from a ceaseless criticism to a severe self criticism. You encounter God within yourself. Pain hides mysteries. There is no masochistic disposition. But noticing how your stony heart melts, you are deeply touched and you marvel. There, in the middle of pain you find the true and pure joy that makes you be grateful for a condition not so long ago considered unacceptable. It’s the mystery of pain that changes the man and in the middle of the pains of his sickness gives him a wonderful peace.
The man of nowadays because he doesn’t want to suffer at all, suffers more. The great comfort he enjoyed brought him boredom. Too much rest made him tired. The man suffers because he misses something. And thus he is forced to bear something undesirable, to suffer and be tormented. Someone suffers when is going through something unpleasant that’s causing him pain. He doesn’t want this but receives it willy-nilly. The pain is a consequence of the abuse of human freedom. The pain is the consequence of sin. But pain contributes to the salvation of man after he had been enslaved by the assiduous chase of the forbidden pleasure and filled his life of pointless pain. And because he learnt in this way and he doesn’t want to struggle to get rid of the passions stimulated by demons, God allows these pains and trials in order to help him and make him repent.
Pain is not accepted in our life in a fatalist manner, as a necessary evil, passively and with a sense of guilt, but standing below the Cross where an Unblemished suffered for us, the wicked. Thus the man in his sickness finds his spiritual health. Sickness becomes a strong medicine. By enduring voluntarily the man will be able to bear the great and unexpected pains and will be led to the blessed patience and spiritual peace. Pain becomes a doctor, a therapist, is beneficial and redeeming. And exactly where he thought that was no light, life and resurrection, exactly in that place he revives, changes and discovers his wings.
Without God the man has no joy or hope. His daily troubles become absurd, unbearable, meaningless. They upset him and make him fall into despair. If the Christians fall into despair it means they don’t lift their cross voluntarily, gladly and with doxology. Then the believer gets familiar with death and he is not afraid anymore. Fear and despair appear in the absence of God. The immediate healing of our pain doesn’t appertain to us, only the knowledge and the connection with the living God.
Pain may guide the man to find God. But he may also lose Him. We shouldn’t put any obstacles on the way of this encounter with our inappropriate thoughts. Christ is everything, He is the spring of Life, the heart of joy. Thus all the pained should ran to Him to find their true joy. The great love makes the grieving man ignore even the strongest pains. Christ arms His believers in enduring their pains and sorrows. For a nonbeliever is very hard to bear with patience all pain – this eternal mystery.
Our modern society isolated the suffering ones in asylums so that they won’t bother. But we forget that pain should unite us to sympathize and help. Whoever suffers sympathizes more easily and offers support. It’s true that pain exhausts, but it may lead you on paths you’ve never imagined, where you will find your deep and unknown self, where you will know the unknown God from your inner self and you will look more leniently at your neighbor. Then pain will become indeed your healer and you will be thankful because you got sick. You will understand the pain of the others. You won’t fly, you will walk on earth and you won’t fancy that the path of your life is covered only with rose petals, but also with roses with thorns.
Therefore you need courage, strength, patience and hope.