Father Ephrem despaired so much because of the general state of recklessness that he didn`t expect too many things from starets Joseph.
Starets Joseph had a reticence to speak with father Ephrem as he knew very well the recklessness which reigned around him. But as long as he had called him, he sent father Athanasios to call him. Thus father Ephrem started telling the starets sadly:
`I see that all monks are busy with the work and you don`t find anyone to whom to confess your thought and hear a wise spiritual word. Is this life we are living called monachism? Work from morning until night and besides this, humiliating insults and not to hear any sweet word? Where is virtue? Where is love? Where is prayer?
`My son beware this is your starets. God has revealed him to you. You can`t leave or judge him.`
`But is this a behavior of a starets? Why won`t I go to search a more spiritual starets?`
`Listen, my son, you know you promised to renounce at the world and now you are looking for honors and flatteries? See that you were wrong. If you want to be Christ`s servant you must receive everything He endured for us, namely despise, slanders, humiliations even spitting and beatings. If you endure all these then you lift up a small cross and follow Christ. Nobody reaches salvation and spiritual progress with delight and vain honors and politeness. Excerpt from My starets Joseph Hesychast– Archimandrite Ephrem Philotheos, Evanghelismos Publishing.