St. Silouan the Athonite on the Joy of the Ascension of Christ (amateur translation)
After the Ascension of the Lord, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy, as the Gospel says (Luke 24:52).
The Lord knows what joy He gave them, and their souls experienced this joy.
Their first joy was that they came to know the true Lord Jesus Christ.
Their second joy was how He loved them.
Third, how they came to know eternal, heavenly joy.
And their fourth joy, how they yearned for the salvation of the world, as their own.
And finally, they rejoiced, because they came to know the Holy Spirit, and saw how He worked within them.
The Apostles went throughout the earth and preached to the people the good news regarding the Lord and the Kingdom of Heaven. Their souls, however, yearned and thirsted to behold the beloved Lord, and because of this, they did not fear death, but they met it with joy. And if they desired to live on the earth, this was only for the joy of the faithful, who loved them.
The Apostles loved the Lord, and because of this they did not fear any suffering. They loved the Lord, and they loved the people, and this love casted out every fear from among them. They did not fear martyrdom, nor death, and because of this the Lord sent them into the world to enlighten the people.