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Cause of unexpected misfortune

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
                          Cause of unexpected misfortune                             St. Nikolai Mostwise Bishop of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 29, 2004
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                            Cause of unexpected misfortune

                                  St. Nikolai Mostwise Bishop of Zicha and Ochrid

      Often unexpected misfortune befalls us, and in vain we ask "why?"  The
      Church of Christ alone knows how to explain the cause of every misfortune.
      The Church basically classifies misfortunes into two groups.  Some
      misfortunes befall the sinner because of old, unrepented sins.  Other
      misfortunes assault the righteous and serve, according to the words of St.
      John Chrysostom, "as a means of receiving a wreath, as was the case with
      Lazarus and Job."  The Empress Eudocia secretly agreed with the Eutychian
      heresy, having heeded the counsel of the perfidious eunuch Chrysaphius.
      But misfortune unexpectedly befell her.  One day her husband, Emperor
      Theodosius, brought her an apple of unusual size.  The empress sent the
      apple to the ailing senator Paulinus and he, out of love for the emperor,
      sent this same apple to Emperor Theodosius.  This gave the emperor reason
      to suspect an illicit relationship between his wife and! the senator.  The
      emperor asked his wife to show him the apple he had given her.  The empress
      lied and said "I ate it!"  This made the emperor's suspicion even stronger,
      and he banished Eudocia to Palestine.  In time Eudocia cured herself of
      heresy, and through the counsels of the great Palestinian spiritual fathers
      returned completely to Orthodoxy.  The misfortune that befell the empress
      did not arise from an illicit relationship with Paulinus - in this, she was
      completely innocent - but because of her heretical disposition.  A second
      but different case:  When he was still a military commander, the future
      Emperor Marcian was traveling near Philipopolis and saw the corpse of a
      murdered man on the road.  Out of pure compassion, he got off his horse and
      started to bury the corpse.  Just then someone came by and saw him burying
      the corpse, and reported him to the court as a murderer.  Marcian would
      have been puni! shed by death, had God not shortly revealed the true
      murderer. This kind of misfortune falls into that second category - "for
      the receiving of a wreath."  Shortly after this, General Marcian was chosen
      to be emperor.

      The chief cause of all the woes which befall a man and deprive him of peace
      and prosperity is his departure from the Single Source of life and
      well-being, our Creator, Provider, and Savior, God, and his flouting of the
      Divine laws and rules which are man's only salvation.

      Abp. Averky
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