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Illness Moves Us To God.

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Eugene Rose, later Fr. Seraphim of Platina, wrote this pivotal passage in his journey from American born, protestant, spiritual seeker, and 50's Bohemian Beatnik to Orthodox monk, on February 28, 1959. He searched for the answer to life and found mostly despair and darkness - until he found Truth. Truth in a Person. A Person who alone dispels the darkness of our fears and scatters the shadows of our worry. Eugene Rose found Love. And fell into His grace-filled arms.

Father Seraphim (Rose) of Platina

What suffering has not God reserved for man in this age! As though man had not suffered enough already throughout all the ages – no, it is simply that man has not realized the presence of God in his suffering. God is allowing man to suffer now without revealing Himself as the cause of that suffering: He wishes man to be reduced to the very upmost of despair. What a cruel God this must be? – No, it is the infinite and incalculable love of God that makes Him allow us so much suffering. Man had thought himself sufficient, and even now he – we – think we can escape our destiny by our own efforts.

Escape! – that is our only thought. To escape from the insanity, the hell, of modern life is all we wish. But we cannot escape!! We must go through this hell, and accept it, knowing it is the love of God that causes our suffering. What terrible anguish! – to suffer so, not knowing why, indeed thinking there is no reason. The reason is God’s love – do we see it blazing in the darkness! – we are blind. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy; Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.

We have a choice, to follow the way of this world, of the society that surrounds us, and thereby find ourselves outside of God, or to choose the way of life, to choose God Who calls us and for whom our heart is searching.

Suffering and pain can only be approached through prostration, humility, prayer – and acceptance. Accept all, take all into yourself – all that is given you. If you do not do this, if you shield yourself from one smallest bit of suffering so as to take refuge in the rational attitude of doubt, then the fault lies in yourself, and the world fails to make sense precisely because you, who look at it, make no sense. You are foul, and constantly contradict yourself, yet you expect to see the world pure, and making sense.

+ Glory to God for All Things +

This excerpt is taken from the book "Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works" by Hieromonk Damascene. Published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California. Fr. Seraphim is considered the first "modern" American, to struggle, and search and find salvation of body and soul in the Holy Orthodox Church. Eugene Rose, was a brilliant mind, born into American culture when the seeds of moral rebellion were being sown, and a self-centered despair descending upon our nation. Fr. Seraphim went back to the sources. To the founts of wisdom, and though he encountered evil, darkness, despair and loneliness, he finally find the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and in knowing Him he understood that evil is only overcome with the presence and goodness of God in us, and with us.

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