Battle with Passions…

“I wept, I fasted to excess, I awoke for even longer but the situation did not change. The attack would quiet and down for a little while but it would start up again with… I would beat myself with sticks until I was black and blue from the waist down but the war continued twice is fierce. My only consolation was tears and prayer but I could see that the passion lived on and did not subside at all. Whenever Grace shows its presence, everything is bearable. But sometimes for reasons that are purely providential it withholds its presence and man loses hope; his fervor decreases and even his faith is dulled. These are the hardest moments in spiritual life because if God does not hold onto him here man cannot endure.”
Elder Joseph
~Elder Joseph the Hesychast