One ascetic lived in the desert for 40 years. She prayed day and night, slept very little – for two hours, and then sitting; constantly bowing, unceasing prayer, work. She did not speak with anyone, only remained in prayer with God. And when she came out of the desert, she saw one holy elder, whom she had heard a lot about. The elder asked: “Where have you been dear one?” – “I was in the desert for forty years, accomplished great deeds: once a week I ate food, constantly stood in prayer.” And the elder asks her: “And if your neighbor offends you? Will you be hurt? Or scold you? Will you accept it with joy, like a fragrance?” – “No, Father.” – “Then all your labors were wasted.”
What ever we do as part of our daily sacrifice it must go deeper than the superficial action. The sacrifice must break and remold our very soul.
We are remade into the true image of Christ.