St Paisios: For whom the Lord loveth, he reproves

“For whom the Lord loveth, he reproves”

• Why does the world suffer so much today, O Elder?

• Due to God’s love! As a nun, you get up in the morning, you attend your canon, you use your prayer rope, you do your prostrations etc. The difficulties the secular people suffer are their canons; they are purified through them. They do more good to them than the secular good time that helps them neither approach God nor save a heavenly reward. They must accept them, therefore, as gifts from God.

The Good God educates His children as a good Father through the ordeals because of love, divine goodness and not because of malice or secular, legal, justice. He wants them to return to Him. As He wants to save the beings He created so that they become heirs to His Heavenly Kingdom, he allows the ordeals so that man can fight and take exams in how patient he is in the ordeals. The devil cannot, therefore, tell Him: “Why do you reward him or why do you save him? He did not labour!” God is not interested in this life, but in the other. He looks after the other life first and then this.

• But why, O Elder, does God give many ordeals to some people and not to others?

• What does the Bible say? ” For whom the Lord loveth, he reproves”. Let’s say that a father has eight children. Five of them stay at home, near their father, and the other three go away and not even think about him. If the ones that stay with him get into mischief, he slaps them slightly on the face or if they are good, he caresses them, he gives them a bar of chocolate. The ones that are far away experience neither the slap nor the chocolate. This is the way of God. If the people that are near Him and the ones that have good intentions make a small mistake, He slaps them on the face slightly and this is their pay-off or if He slaps them more, they save for later. On the other hand, He gives years to the ones that are away from Him so that they can repent. This is why we see secular people who, despite their serious sins, have plenty of material goods and live for many years without suffering any ordeal. This is done on God’s sufferance so that they can repent. If they do not repent, they will be without a hearing in the other life.

– Saint Paisios