Even if we ascended to heaven through contemplation, this is not fromus.Even if after a short while we change without our will and a great sadness and an unbearable grief overwhelm us as if we were in hell and we think we won`t get rid of it and it will torment us until death, even then we must remain untroubled. As when we ascended to heaven we rejoiced in the same way when we change and we face a grief, we must show patience, without becoming troubled and without protesting.
We should peacefully say to our thoughts: Our Father has two homes, one in heaven of the joy and delight and the other below in the hell of pains. When He pleases He takes us up in the joy from above or down to know that as long as I have this body of loam, I am subject to change. I have nothing to say, only: `May the will of God be done in all, in everything and for all. If He leaves me below, I say to Him:
`My sweetest Saviour and God, I did not do anything good or pleasant before You but as an industrious doer of sin, I am a son deserving hell. If I am condemned this is what I deserve. Only You do not be upset on me, but look at me with joyful face and then hell will become a bright heaven.` When you say these, sadness goes away and it turns again into joy. But you don`t say them to see joy coming back, you say them from your heart. As long as you are alive – as I said – never trust in you, even if you ascended to the seventh skies and saw all the mysteries of nature. As long as you have a body, there is fear and we need guard. Only after leaving the dead body you would rejoice that you won`t change anymore and everything God will give you will belong to you and nobody will take it away from you. To Him is the glory and reign forever. Amen.
Excerpt from Testimonies of the monachal experience – Pious Joseph the Hesychast, Evanghelismos Publishing.