Blessed are you if you look on this goal and do not turn back – The Spiritual Elder

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You grief-filled letter was an occasion of thanksgiving for us, and I call our misery blessed which was deemed worthy to drink the cup of the sufferings of our Saviour; as I am convinced that from the bitter draught drunk for Him, things that are glorious will spring forth in which the diligent will rejoice, making them glorious in the glory of their Glorifier.

The athlete who looks at the crown is not disheartened by the intensity of the struggles. And the crown, with which Christ crowns the one who loves Him, at the end of his strife, is the vision of the Holy Trinity.

Blessed are you, O combatant if you look on this goal and you do not turn back. If you are struck with arrows by your enemies, behold, your King observes your struggle and He Himself will heal your wounds. He will anoint you with sweet oil, the oil of joy, and he will refresh your weary limbs which have been afflicted for his sake.

Since the outer sun of your pupils has been darkened by the violence of the adversities, all at once you will receive in exchange the place whose sun is the Creator. And this sun will gladden your face with a light without shadow. The limbs which were dipped in the blood of their wounds for love of the Spouse more beautiful than all, even in this life they shine in the eternally existing glory which He gives them as a pledge.

[John of Dalyatha, Letter 11]

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