Martyrdom by Asceticism

From “Spiritual Awakening – Spiritual Counsels II” by Elder Paisios:
   -Geronda, how am I to feel martyrdom and monastic asceticism?

   -For you to understand a little of what martyrdom means, be prepared to accept even contempt with joy.  And if you want to feel a little what asceticism is, since you cannot fast for forty days as Christ did, fast at least one Wednesday, the day when He was betrayed, and one Friday, the day they crucified Him.  Those who desire to be martyrs out of love for Christ, but for whom there is no martyrdom, can express this burning love of theirs for Christ through a physical form of asceticism for the sake of those departed souls who are burning and need to find some rest.  As martyrdom is a festival, asceticism is also a festival, for one finds divine consolation by avoiding all human consolation.

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