Suffering is the most daring apostle of all time. It silently preaches Christ, for wherever the word of the Gospel does not enter, there is the cry of suffering. Wherever the apostolic voice is not heard, the groan of suffering is heard. Wherever a priest cannot enter, there is sorrow, and whatever a priest cannot do, suffering does.
All passions can, let's say, be excused due to nature and bad life circumstances; but pride cannot be justified by anything! It has an unbearable insolence—it attaches itself to any virtue if it can, and it even hides behind humility, which serves as its shield. We see this very often, and to prove what I am saying, it is as one father said: "That proud one is so humble!"
Тhe fathers from Sihastria Monastery and the faithful from the region remember with great reverence the name of Protosinghel Joel (Gheorghiu). He was a skilled spiritual father, meek and merciful, with a heart pure before God and man. He was also a father of absolute obedience, humility, and prayer. Few from the community loved the services of the Church, the good order [of the monastic life] and silence as much as Fr. Joel did. However, in order to attain this spiritual measure, one needs over fifty years of ascetic labor, obedience, patience, and renunciation of all that is transitory. Otherwise, one is unable to acquire a peaceful conscience and the hope of salvation.