Long time ago a great emperor wanted to test the wisdom of his child, the heir of the throne and put on the table his crown and sword.
Calling his son, he asked him to think well and choose what it was more useful for him in life. His son chose the sword.
`Why the sword?` asked the king.
`Because by sword I can win and keep the crown.`
`You`re right, my son. You made a wise decision. But remember: the path each man must follow is the same, no matter if he is a king or a peasant: the path of the Cross, of sacrifice. The Cross is the only weapon you can use in life in the daily struggle with the devil and with the temptations, with the helplessness and with your own self. Faith means struggle. You have the sword by which you can win and keep the crown, but we all have the Cross and only through it we can gain and keep the heaven in our souls. Do not forget this, my son!`
Christ`s path is our daily Cross. No one ascended to heaven by ease.` (Saint Isaac thr Syrian)
Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Christian Orthodox Parables and Stories – author Leon Magdan, Aramis Publishing House – Romanian Patriarchy