Ι see your struggle; I am counting the crowns; I envy your medallions; I plunge my mind into the age to come to hear the triumphant melodies that the angelic beings will compose; I am amazed and bemoan myself because I have not struggled as you struggle!
My children, just think about what the martyrs went through for our Christ! And the more martyrs were killed, the more did Christians flourish; our Church has been watered with the blood of martyrs. We are martyrs in this corrupt society of ours, for with our chaste—by God’s grace—lifestyle, we censure the immorality of mankind and its estrangement from the worship of God.
Abide, my children, in this chaste lifestyle; abide close to our Jesus, and may you resemble Him by enduring slander and false accusations. This is what our Lord endured from the Scribes and the Pharisees and the chief priests; unjustly did He suffer on the Cross. Therefore, those who want to be His followers will undergo similar trials.
Kneel at the holy feet of our Jesus and shed tears of love, follow Him with loyal dedication till death, and if the waves rise up to Heaven and descend to the abyss, so be it. Our Christ, the true God, with a dreadful, divine nod will calm all the waves, as long as we have faith. Believe truly and steadfastly in Him Who said, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Mt 28:20). Jesus is with us; do not lose heart. He will fight for us, throughout the intercessions of the invincible Theotokos, and grant us the victory.
Elder Ephraim of Filotheou and Arizona From Counsels from the Holy Mountain, from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim