On Purifying Fire

Metropolitan Luke’s wartime notes


Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!

The Sunday reading at the Liturgy through the lips of Apostle Paul teaches us about the purifying fire, through which the human soul must pass. We may encounter this fire not only when we pass over the border of earthly life. We experience it already here and now, because our life’s circumstances are that fire, which burns all impurity out of the soul.

Apostle Paul compares this with the process of cleansing of precious metals from various impurities. In antiquity the purification of gold and silver was only carried out with the help of fire. So also, our soul cannot without sorrows, deprivations, troubles, and sicknesses be able to reach that state, which gives it the opportunity to enter into eternal life. Therefore we must not be afraid of sorrows, but thank God that He sends us such circumstances. We ourselves would never have the resolve to take on these sorrows, but God’s love and mercy give them to us by His Providence for the salvation of our souls.

Unfortunately, by far not everyone understands this. There are those who are ready to pay any price just to live in peace. They agree to even sell their souls to the devil, if only they might receive pleasure from material comforts and physical health. There are no few among such people who call themselves Orthodox Christians and even servants of God. If we look at them closely then we will see that these people are motivated by fear—the fear of being shamed and persecuted. There are also some among them who simply have the banal fear of having their sins exposed before people. But they do not understand that it would be better for them endure exposure, contempt, and reproach than to have eternal shame. Such people are now rocking the ship of the Church, playing the role that their manipulators are forcing upon them. But we need to understand that righteousness in the eyes of people is worth nothing. It is not important what other people think of us—it’s important how God sees us.

It's better to be calumnated in the eyes of people, than to be cursed in the eyes of God!

Metropolitan Luke (Kovalenko) of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
Translation by OrthoChristian.com



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