On Suffering Orthodoxy

St. Nikolai Velimirovich 1880-1956

It is written, “Whom God loves, He also rebukes. And beats.” That is how it is written. Merciful God beats him whom He loves. He beats him in the earthly kingdom so He can glorify him all the more in the heavenly. He beats him so he won’t attach himself to the corruption of this world, to the vain idols of human power, skill and wealth, to the passing shadows of ill scandals.

Without great beatings, Orthodoxy would not have carried God’s truth throughout the generations and darkness of ages and ages, and it would not have passed such a long obstacle track, preserving the truth and sanctity in purity. Without suffering, Orthodoxy would not have preserved its purity for even a hundred years. In the nineteen centuries of its existence, it never had one whole century of peace and freedom, without persecutions, without whippings, without enslavement, fire, fear and horror. Other faiths cannot comprehend this. Heretics don’t understand this. There is no nation in the world who has chosen the kingdom of this world as their ideal of happiness, that can now understand or comprehend what is happening… Only the clairvoyant understand this, those who ever look to the eternal and immortal Kingdom of Christ as the reality. But clairvoyance is also the daughter of suffering. (Missionary Letters: Letter 25)

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