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[Acts 23:1–11; John 16:15–23] The Lord says to the holy apostles before His sufferings: A lit?tle while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me (John 16:16). The Lord’s suf?ferings and death so struck the holy apostles that the eyes of their mind became dim, and they no longer saw the Lord as the Lord The light was hidden, and they sat in a bitter and wearisome darkness. The light of Christ’s resurrection dispersed this darkness — and they again saw the Lord. Thus the Lord Himself ex?plained His words: ye shall weep, He said, and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy (John 16:20). It is said that every soul on the way to perfection expe?riences a similar defeat. Universal darkness covers it, and it does not know where to go; but the Lord comes, and changes its sorrow into joy. It is truly as necessary as it is for a woman to suffer before a man be born of her into the world. Can’t we conclude from this that he who has not experienced this has not yet given birth to a real Christian with?in himself?
Saint Theophan the Recluse