Saturday, August 31, 2013

Elder Macarius on how to deal with a tragedy

When we or our friends are faced with tragedy it is common to ask, "Where is God? Why does He allow this to happen?" The Fathers always tell us something that is hard to accept––"Accept the will of God, Give Him thanks."

Here are the words of Elder Macarius,

Believe firmly: this tragedy is not the outcome of chance concatenation of events. God Himself––God, whose ways are inscrutable––has confirmed them with the seal of His divine purpose. Why? Either as a punishment––but not necessarily for any sins of yours––or to try the power of your faith, and steel it. But whatever the reason, the whole occurrence is one more proof of His love of you, for "Whom the Lord loveth He Chasteneth, and scourageth every son whom He receiveth... But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons (Heb 12:6,8)... Strive hard for patient endurance! Do not weaken. Hourly thank God for all. And He will see to it that good comes of your right attitude.

We are asked to accept all that comes our way with humility. When someone hurts us we forgiven him. When we lose a loved one we grieve for the loss, but we should also thank God for what we have been given and affirm our belief in His kingdom and the reality of eternal life. So often we are called to endure very painful situations. When we do, remember the Passion of our Lord, the pain of the Cross, and how this led to the Resurrection. Pain and suffering are part of this fallen world and through it, with faith, we are brought closer to God to become joined with Him to enjoy eternal life in His kingdom.

Pray for strength to endure with love and stand firm in your faith no matter what. At some point in our life we will face pain and suffering. This is our crucifixion and our opportunity to be joined with Christ.

Reference: Russian Letters of Spiritual Direction, p33 - 34
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