`Abba, I noticed that I don’t make any spiritual progress and this upsets me.`
`Once someone planted a vineyard and although this didn’t have roots, he expected it to bring grapes, to make plenty of wine, to drink, to enjoy himself and get drunk. You are doing the same. You planted a sprout and you want to drink wine on the spot. Something like this is not possible. You don’t plant a vineyard today to drink wine tomorrow. You may eat a few bunches of grapes in a year. In two years you will eat a basket of grapes and in five years you will drink some wine. So struggle and have patience if you want to delight yourself with spiritual fruit.`
`Abba, I am not used to wait and I lose my patience easily.`
`You need patience and wisdom. You see, the man waits two-three hours to cook a meal, but he can’t wait two minutes to let it cool and without thinking he eats it hot and burns his mouth. When I go back to the Holy Mountain I’ll send you a holy icon of saint Ipomoni. They sent me two icons of some pious men and one with saint Ipomoni. I gave the icons with the pious men with my blessing and kept the one with saint Ipomoni.`
`Abba, now when you came didn’t you bring me any healing plant from the Holy Mountain?`
`In this season there are not healing plants in the Garden of Theotokos. Spring must come. But to see spring coming you must have a bit of patience to let winter pass. So the best, the most useful plant for you is patience.`
`Abba I feel that I am in the middle of a spiritual winter.`
If you want to see the weather changing and getting warmer so that you may bloom and bring fruit of virtue, you must enjoy both cold and sunny weather, because everything helps for good. We endure with patience the spiritual winter and our patience is given by the hope in the arrival of the spiritual spring. Later in summer we see the good brought by winter that filled the basins with water and killed the microbes with its frost.
God settled everything wisely for our salvation and helps us as a good Father. We are only asked to have a bit of patience.
Source: Pious Paisios the Athonite, Passions and virtues, p.296-297.