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Bearing the small cross

" We went through fire and water…" The crosses of ordeals • I have always on me the small cross you gave me, O Elder, and it helps me to overcome difficulties. • Yes, these small crosses are our crosses. Like the ones we wear around our necks and protect us in our lives. What do you think? Do we bear a big cross? Only Christ's Cross was very heavy because Christ did not want to use for Himself His divine strength out of love for us, the people. Moreover, he bears the weight of all the crosses of the world and disburdens us from the pains of the ordeals with His divine help and His sweet comfort. Good God provides each person with a cross relevant to their strength; the idea is not suffering but the ascent from the cross to Heaven because in reality the cross is a stairway to Heaven. If we realise what treasure we are saving from the pain of ordeals, we will not groan, but praise God bearing the small cross he gave us as a gift. Thus, we will enjoy this life and we will receive pension and "gratuity" in the other one. God has secured our reward in Heaven. If we ask to be relieved from an ordeal, then He gives the reward to someone else and we lose it. Whereas, if we are patient, He will gives us interest as well. The people who suffer here are blessed because the more they suffer in this life, the more they are helped in the other, because they are paying off sins. The crosses of ordeals are higher than the "talents", the gifts, that God offers us. The person that bears not only one but five crosses is blessed. An ordeal or a martyrical death is also a clear reward. Thus, we should say for every ordeal: "Thank you God, because this is what was needed for my salvation." -Saint Paisios

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