St Mardarije on Persevering Through Trials…
But dare I address this word of exhortation to you, brethren, who are groaning under the heavy burden of trials, that you might continue to bear this heavy burden? During these trials, the world preaches to you from all sides in the name of its philosophy to leave this path of trials, to forget the whole past and dream of a future that will know nothing of trials.
May the Lord God preserve you from such a rash and disastrous step! The world offers you an easy path full of consolation, but believe, brethren, that this path will poison your whole soul and grieving heart. It cannot bring you comfort—it will be a short-lived and false consolation, leading to destruction.
This path will lead you to a dejected, unspeakable grief; to despair. Beware of this deceptive and seductive path with all its dangers and abysses, which all the saints whom we glorify managed to avoid.
In those blows you suffer, in those constant trials, behold the wondrous love of the Savior, Who suffered all His life under the blows of superhuman trials. And when you are exhausted due to your natural human weakness, take your mind to the distant borders of the Palestinian Holy Land and stand upon the shore of that small lake where the Apostles, sailing in the middle of the night, were ready to lose heart in the horror of the heavy ordeal.
Stand reverently and wait, and your spiritual eyes will open, and you, like the Apostles, will hear the sweet voice of the Savior: It is I; be not afraid. (Jn. 6:20), and being so emboldened, continue upon the path of earthly trials.
– Homily in 1910 by the First Serbian Orthodox American Bishop