“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3: 12)
And the Lord Jesus Christ had foretold and proved by it by His own example. And so did the apostles, who talked about it, and proved these words by their own example. And all the God-bearing Fathers of the Church, confessors and martyrs talked about this, and proved it by their own example. So is it possible to doubt even for a moment the fact that you must take the narrow path to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Is it even possible to doubt the fact that we must face many misfortunes in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
No, there are no longer any grounds or justification for doubt. Can a sheep live amongst wolves and not be attacked? Can the flame of a candle burn on the path of strong winds and not tremble? Can a fruit tree grow near the road and not be plucked by those who pass by? The same goes for the Church filled with pious souls which will be persecuted, in fact it will be persecuted by pagans, by idol worshippers, by heretics,by apostates, through various passions and vices, sins and lawlessness, by the world and demons.
The same applies to any no pious soul which can not remain without persecution – either external or internal – until it is ready part with the body and the world. Someone can deny this and try prove something else, according to his own reasoning and his own logic. But neither the mind nor the logic of a single person will be helpful here: thousands of crucified people say otherwise, and thousands of people who were burned to death shout a different opinion, and thousands of those who were hacked to death prove otherwise, and thousands of those who were thrown into the water to drown testify about something else. O my brethren, the Christian faith is strong not only when it agrees with mind and logic, but even then (especially at that moment) when it opposes any reason and any logic.
Whoever wants to live in piety, will be persecuted. The Apostle predicted in the early Christian times,while twenty Christian centuries responded with a chorus of echos, and confirmed that the prophecy was true.
O Resurrected Christ, give us light, that we may be pious to the end, and give us strength to withstand persecution until the end. To you glory and praise forever. Amen.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds