St. Paisios the Athonite
Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of God, feel the greatest joy in the world. Their life is a constant doxology, for they flutter about internally like angels, glorifying God day and night. Those, however, who neglect the salvation of their souls and try to find joy and rest in this vain life, are continually tortured and entangled in endless worldly machinery and live in hell in this life.
As the kindness of God renders everything useful for a good purpose, so too must we, His creatures, make good use of everything in order to be benefited and benefit others.
Kind people naturally derive benefit even from their fellow men’s failings, for they use them as a strong brake on themselves in order to take care not to be derailed. But those who are deceitful, unfortunately, are not benefited, not even by other people’s virtues, because they interpret them with their wily lexicon, being darkened by the gloom of the manslayer. They spiritually wrong themselves and others, and are always upset and continually upset others with their spiritual darkness; whereas, actual cloudy weather causes sadness only to people who suffer from grief.
Kindness is one of God’s many qualities; therefore, it always spreads joy, drives away the clouds, and opens up hearts like the spring sunshine which makes the earth blossom. It even warms up snakes and takes them out of their cold holes so they, too, can enjoy God’s kindness.
Sacrifice for our fellow man conceals our great love for Christ. Those who have good intentions to give alms, but have nothing and on this account are afflicted, give charity with the blood of their hearts.