The Lord gave St. Mary of Egypt to know what grace is when she lived in terrible sins, and granted her to see what an obstacle sin is for communion with God. Her answer to this gift from God should ever be before our eyes and should be our constant contemplation.
Perhaps, beloved ones, some of you might suppose that St. John composed his Ladder exclusively for monks, and not for laypeople, inasmuch as there is nothing in common between your own lives—that is, of fathers and mothers of families and secular young people—and the lives of monks, recluses, desert dwellers and hesychasts?
Today the Church, in the heart of Great Lent, when we are already exhausted from fasting, offers us all a wondrous remedy—the veneration of the tree of the crucified Savior Christ. It’s a wondrous work of the Church that shows its true spiritual wisdom. What is the Cross of the Lord?
Everyone desires joy and many people look for it in places where there is no joy… Some people look for joy in lust, some in eating and drinking, some others in revelries, others in money, some others in splurge… They seek to find joy, but is there joy in those things? Is there joy in the wallet, as much as full it is? How many people have many wallets full of money but still they don’t have joy?
Suffering is the most daring apostle of all time. It silently preaches Christ, for wherever the word of the Gospel does not enter, there is the cry of suffering. Wherever the apostolic voice is not heard, the groan of suffering is heard. Wherever a priest cannot enter, there is sorrow, and whatever a priest cannot do, suffering does.