Suffering in its essence is repugnant to our human nature. We naturally run from it. We always want to seek an easy life. But if we acquire and lead this easy life, what reward can there be for that? Every mature adult will admit that pain is typically a prerequisite for pleasure. If we wish to be paid, we must first put in the work.
Considering these things, why do we not embrace our sufferings? Why do we not view each and every trial as a stepping-stone capable of leading us to the highest highs? Alas, our poor and darkened human intellect is quickly put to shame by our raging passions. The passionate man is not a very rational man.
We must, then, bridle our passions and elevate our intellect. The darkening of the intellect is one of the chief effects of sin, after all. This terrible darkening is what fools the passionate man into searching for his easy life. Really, his goal is nothing more than a passion-dominated life, for which he can receive no reward.
The truly intellectual man, on the contrary, will fly sin at all costs. He would prefer to die before he sinned, and he would have his intellect vaulted above his passions as a result. Such a man will not enjoy an easy life. He will willingly and happily offer up his life as one collective act of suffering because he will understand the reward for such a life. He will not be melancholic as he goes through his hard life, but rather he will keep his eyes focused happily on his prize.
Such a man does not run from sufferings; he embraces them. He does not live an easy life, but he understands better than all the world what it means to live a peaceful life. And someday he’ll have Everlasting Life.