We All Pass Through Difficult Moments

It is not always possible to feel good. To always have an appetite, both spiritually and physically. There are times when both our soul and body ache. We feel as if we have no more strength, we feel tired and depleted. Even our very self weighs heavily upon us. “Father, I can’t even stand myself,” a lady once told me. Let us not be harsh with ourselves, with life, or with others. It is not possible to always smile, to always have the desire and strength to fight. Even the saints had such moments, let alone us here in the world, amidst turmoil, under pressure, stress, and troubles. “If you make another smile, that is an act of mercy, for evil and the devil dissipate. Laughter is an immaterial mercy,” said Archimandrite Ananias Kustenis. All of us – young and old, saints and sinners – go through difficult moments and periods in life, but let’s not allow the thought of despair tell us, “It’s only you who feels this way…” No, it’s not true, we all go through these things.

However, there is a secret here. On one hand, all of this is good for us. It reminds us that we are creatures, that we are perishable, it exposes the false sense of omnipotence. It reveals grace to us. For if you bear the Cross, there will come the Resurrection. If you taste the bitterness of pain, then you will delight in God’s grace. That’s how it goes. Great trials – great grace. There’s a great danger in these dark and difficult moments – falling into grave sins and serious mistakes. Because, when the soul and the person feel pain, many times, to escape the suffering and the emptiness of sorrow, one commits sin. What is sin? A substitute for God. We lose God, we can’t live, we feel emptiness, despair, and sadness, and then, to not go mad, we commit sin. To fill the void, which almost swallows us. Of course, we solve nothing this way, we only multiply evil, but for a moment we feel comforted. Ridiculous things. Who ever found comfort without God?

That’s why we should not judge anyone, because we see the sin and the mistake, the passion and the abyss, but we do not see the wound, the pain, which leads every person to sin. We should love people, understand them. They are tormented, they want love, not judgment and punishment.

Rarely do we sin for pleasure, most often we sin because we can’t endure life, we can’t stand ourselves, we seek to fill the void from an absence. Therefore, Saint Porphyrios told us not to focus on evil and sins. You’ve fallen into sin, well, forget it, turn to the good, to the Light, to Christ. If the light comes, then the darkness will leave on its own, you won’t have to chase it away.

Selection of text: Petko Kostovski