Force yourselves in your spiritual duties, for forcefulness in spiritual things is like a solid wall that does not let the river run into the garden and destroy what the gardener has labored to grow. But if we are negligent, the river comes in and destroys everything!
The Lord speaks to us about this in the Holy Gospel: “While the men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat” (Mt. 13:25 ). The more we compel ourselves, the more we shall gain. The more one works, the more he is paid. The life of a monk is a daily cross, a holy Golgotha, where Jesus is calling all of us who love Him to be crucified with Him, and then the soul will resurrect.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona