The reply of the Living God to the Elder Sophrony
when he asked: "Why does God allow injustice in the
world?", was a revelation to those very ones who
were responsible for that state:
“You, God, have known my folly, and my
delinquencies were not hidden from You”
(Ps.68:6)… Now I live in a debilitated form, yet
You, Christ, are calling me to believe and accept
the Revelation that the Father loves us, as He loves
You, His Only-begotten Son:
“The Father loves you, because
you have loved Me… but I do not ask only about them,
but also about those who have believed in Me through
their word, so that all may be one, as You, Father
are in Me and I in
You – so that they
too be one in Us, so that the world may believe that
You sent Me… and that You have loved them, as You
have loved Me”
(John 16:27, 17:20-23).
The faith in Christ renders us immeasurably bold.
Not in vain does the blessed Paul say that “Because
the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the
weakness of God is stronger than men. That which seems to the “mind of the flesh”
(Col.2:18) as perfect foolishness, to
the faithful it is wisdom and strength, life and
light (see. 1 Cor. 1:18-30; Col. 2:14;
But if for each person the bravery of being
Christian is an act that surpasses the measure of
man, what can I say of myself?
From my young years I was conscious of my
insignificance; even in the presence of people, I am
And yet: a small Light visited me, and I
believed in Christ-God.
Then followed a more plentiful effusion of
Light, joined to my faith in Him - and it deepened,
through the new knowledge.
Albeit being truly “naught”, nevertheless, the
Uncreated Light revealed itself to me, precisely for
the sake of my in-Christ trust.
My nous transcended the wall of my – truly
perplexed – logic, the inability to understand that
the Hypostasis possesses knowledge that embraces
everything, such that nothing is hidden from Him in
the entire worldly being:
even one of these (birds)
shall fall upon the earth without (the
will of) our Father. As for us, even all
the hairs of our head are numbered… for, nothing is
concealed that shall not be revealed and
(nothing) hidden that shall not be known”
(see Matth. 10:29-30 and 26). “And there
is no creation that is invisible before Him;
everything is naked and bared to His eyes
My relations with God have a strictly personal
character. Sin is unthinkable outside of them;
without them, there is no love between man and God.
Without them, there is no ontological
knowledge of God, nor can there be. Without them,
everything is swallowed up by death and is sunk into
That which I intend to write about now, took place
more than half a century ago. It was a period of
intensity. Many things – all things, to be exact –
were unclear for me.
And life is so brief!
And God is so infinitely large and distanced!
Who shall teach me to head towards Him by the
straight path and not waste time wandering by other
had certainly sought such a person or such persons,
who would be able to help me and become my guides.
The fact, however, that a power descended upon me
that was unknown to me until then - a prayer, which
was active within me day and night – somehow
rendered that prayer my natural support all the
time. There were moments during which – as I believe
– I received correction from God.
I will mention certain examples, which had
put their stamp in me and became the cornerstones of
Not discerning God’s justice in the fortunes of
mankind and in each and every person in general, I
felt beleaguered in the dark, which had overwhelmed
was like a young infant, helpless in everything.
Feeling the need to comprehend something, I
became impatient because of the pain of my soul and
awaited help from God.
And God condescended to my ignorance.
He did not crush my outspokenness, but, like
a mother, He suffered with me and would hasten to
reply to me.
And this was not only once, but again and
again, many times. It was in a similar way that He
had responded to much afflicted Job, who had
stormily expressed his protests.
Behold one of my instances: This took place in
France, around 1925, prior to my departure for
For a long time I had been tearfully praying to God:
“Find a way to save the world - all of us
corrupt and vulgar ones”.
Especially fervent was my prayer for “these
little ones”, the poor and exhausted ones.
Towards the end of the night, when my
strength was nearly depleted, for a while my prayer
became disturbed on account of the thought that came
“If I, thus, with all the strength of my heart,
suffer along with mankind, how can I think it
possible that God looks indifferently at the injury
of many millions of people that He had created? Why
does He allow the innumerable acts of violence in
I would thus turn to Him with the insane
question: “Where are You?” … In reply I heard these
words in my heart: “Were
you perhaps crucified for
These gentle words that echoed through the
Spirit in my heart shook me:
The Crucified One replied to me - as God.
The reply was succinct, but a word from God brings
to the soul a new, special sensation of being.
The heart receives an experience of being
filled with a light-bearing life.
The nous suddenly grasps meanings that were
until that moment hidden.
God’s proximity inspires us. Contact with His
creative power vivifies us.
The knowledge acquired through this path is
qualitatively different to that which is acquired
through philosophical intellect: Along with the
comprehension of the realities of the spiritual
world, another form of life is transmitted to one’s
entire existence – perhaps similar to that of the
This ontological knowledge of God becomes
joined to the current of love that is extended to
Him in prayer.
God’s reply is succinct, but in it is contained a
deeper and broader revelation that cannot be
See... I am searching for a certain
portrayal, accessible to your logical perception, so
that with it, I can somehow reveal the order of
things and describe that very fact… Being in our
fallen state, we are cut off from God by an
invisible (to the naked eye) screen; indiscernible,
and as such, impenetrable for us.
Then, in an
unforeseen manner, by a gesture of God, a tiny slit
is described on that screen. By focusing the eye on
it, we can see, not only that which comprises the
request of our prayer, but also the broader horizons
related to that perspective.
If our eye
is “simple” (see Matth.6:22), and we do not
distract it from the vision given to us, it will
perceive – it will somehow sense – the infinity of
the radiant kingdom.
And then it will receive the due solution,
not only of our problem, but also of an entire
series of other problems that are linked to it.
eternity, all “parallels” interlace in a knot, as do
all the diverging radii.
Then a "state" was given to me (forgive me, the
fool, and without anger accept me as I am), from
which thoughts such as these sprang forth:
If God is thus, as
revealed by the Crucified Christ, then we all – and
we alone – are responsible for all the evils that
have filled the entire history of mankind.
Himself in our flesh. Humbling Himself was a
characteristic of His love. Divine humility can be
characterized as a readiness, as an opening to
accept everyone and all of the plagues that came
from the hands of the people that He had created.
And that humility is – most certainly –
not only rejected Him, but even murdered Him with a
death that was shameful in our sight.
And I saw in the Spirit
that the cause of mankind’s unsolved torments was
NOT the absence of mercy towards us on the part of
God, but exclusively and only man’s abuse of the
gift of freedom, which was still not withdrawn from
us, even in our Fall.
In my “quarrel” with Him, He won.
First of all, I was engulfed by a bitter
feeling of shame for my foolish and haughty thought
- that I was supposedly more merciful than He.
Out of that shame, came the self reproach of
repentance. Then everything was more than covered,
the Lord not only didn’t reproach me for my
audacity; He even showered my full of foolishness
head with His bounteous blessing.
Much later, I came to realize that even that
prayer for mercy was an Energy of His within me.