“It is natural for us to be drawn to the Supreme Good but our progression must begin with a descent into the abyss of hell. St. Paul, having repented of his past, says of Christ: ‘Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above the heavens, that he might fill all things’ [Eph. 4:9-10]. And this is precisely our route after the Fall.
We are conscious of descending into hell since from the moment the image of pre-eternal man is shown to us we are more sharply aware of the depths of our benighted state. Our whole self is stricken with grief. The timeless anguish of the spirit surpasses any and every pain of the body. With all our might we pray for help from on High. Slaves of passion, cut off from God, out of the depths we cry, ‘Come and heal me from the death which holds me fast…Come and drive out the evil in me…Come and do Thy will in me, for I am powerless to perform any good deed. I am captive in darkness hateful to me’.