Are You in Pain?


Saint Sophia Cathedral

Online Resources for our Religious Edification

Topic of the Week – Are You in Pain?


Let Us Manifest This Faith

“…The more silent God remains, the more present He is. The more it seems as if all is lost and as if there is no hope anywhere, the more present God is; the more He intervenes invisibly and mystically.

He doesn’t reveal His help, He doesn’t let us see it, but He does a lot of work in the heart of man, depending on man’s faith, hope and overall attitude. Here lies the secret. The point is not for our will to be done. What does a man in pain want? Not to be in pain. What does a man in suffering want? Not to suffer. However this is not the issue. The issue is to reach communion with God. When this occurs man becomes like a madman, but what a good madness!

….Spiritual work occurs secretly in the heart. Externally, many things threaten us. Our lives are like the sea, where the wind blows, waves rise, but deep down it’s all quiet peaceful and serene.

This is how a man who trusts in God lives. The world around him rages, but deep down nothing hinders the soul from having a mystical communion with God, a mystical love for God. Quietly and mystically, in a special way that the heart perceives, the Lord is whispering: “Don’t be afraid. I am here. Keep walking this path. Keep loving me, keep believing in me and keep following me.”

Excerpted from Are you in pain? Looking deeply into the mystery of pain – The Orchard of the Virgin Mary (, p77, p84


“Good” parents with “bad” children

“Parents, good parents, who are spiritual people, come to me to complain about their child, who has gone astray.

Many times I say, “Look, you may consider yourselves good and simply care about your child who is getting lost. Still, God allows this to happen to your child, precisely for your benefit, so that you can see your faults, which you haven’t seen before.

You may have selfishness in your life, a good impression of yourselves, or something else unnoticed by you.

If you attend to these faults, and your own soul is healed from these sins and passions, your child will be healed also. God will bring them back to the right path. Back to you.”

Indeed this occurs very often.”

Excerpted from Are you in pain? Looking deeply into the mystery of pain, Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, p83


 “We should learn this lesson: it’s of great significance in every situation to think instantly as follows: “God knows, sees and hears. Whatever happens, it happens with His permission and blessing….


When pain is no longer needed, God will take it away. If pain continues, if pain remains, this means that we still need it.

Know this: When pain completes the work it is supposed to accomplish, God will take it away. For God removing pain is no difficulty.

When we suffer, when a pain continues, let us think like this: “God wants something good to come out of this in me and I act as if I don’t understand this. All I do is grumble and complain…..

It is not enough to suffer myriad things in this life. If you believe in God and accept the myriad troubles that occur to you, gladly and for the love of God, then God will make a saint out of you.”

Excerpted from Are you in pain? Looking deeply into the mystery of pain, Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, pp76, 81, 84

Middle School:

People in the world do what they do to please themselves. Christians follow this way, too. They may fight spiritual fights; yet, the ulterior motive behind their struggle is that things turn out to be as they wish them to be. It is very rare to encounter a soul which says, “my God, let things happen however you want them to happen.” It is even more uncommon for a soul, too, not only to say this but also to be willing to accept what God allows with pleasure, no matter the cost.

It’s very rare today to come across a true Christian, today. Without realizing, we Christians fall into the same trap that all of humanity has fallen into: what is ideal today, what everybody is after is how to please ourselves, how to make things turn out as we wish them to be, and what must be done to enjoy as much comfort as possible.”

Excerpted from Are you in pain? Looking deeply into the mystery of pain, Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, p46

High School:

We are Christians of comfort. This is why the Lord will let us struggle a lot.

Don’t expect salvation with certainty, unless all comforts are abolished in you.

Our whole Christian mentality functions wrongly. Our whole mentality as Christians is reversedOn the one hand we want to avoid suffering, we take great care not to lose or deprive ourselves of anything and on the other hand we expect to receive God’s blessing. This is not a healthy relationship with God.

In the long run, whether we like it or not, we will have suffering. Indeed, even when we have a false impression that we are enjoying the fruits of this world, our life is often like hell….

We often feel miserable, because we think we lack this or that, but we lack nothing. Even if we may lack a few things, we shouldn’t feel miserableInstead let us say: “Dear God, I was not at all in the mood to deprive myself of certain pleasures. You are ahead of the game though, you outmaneuvered me again and I am grateful for this. You allowed these circumstances to happen in such a way, that these pleasures have been taken away from me. Thank you, my God, I am grateful to you.”

Then this will feel like a feast. It will be another blessing.”

Excerpted from Are you in pain? Looking deeply into the mystery of pain, Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos, p86


A Message from Maria Spanos

I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria

Two of my favorite quotes:

“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.”  — Saint John of Kronstadt


Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse