What is the best way to view illness and injury?

April 22, 2021 by Systema Headquarters  
A question from the Soul & Spirit discussion with Rev. Father Vladimir:
What is the best way to view illness and injury? If illness happens to us, it often seems unfair.

It seems… yes, of course. First of all, if illness comes, we are taught that the cause of illness is not necessarily that the person is sinning or that their parents were sinning. As Christ cured a person blind from birth, his Apostles asked, “Why was this person blind from birth? Was it because he was sinning or his parents were sinning?” Christ replied, “Not because of his parents. Not because of his sins.” Christ cured him and this blindness happened so that the work of God might be displayed.

Theologians and the Holy Fathers say that God does not punish. He heals. God is not offended by our sins. He waits, and He heals. God sends His rain on the evil and the righteous, equally. God sends the burdens for a reason. In some cases, people lose their child. The child dies. Maybe at a young age, maybe at an older age, but the child dies. What is the result of the death of the child? A dramatic difference in his parents. And we know such parents. We know these instances in our community. Because of the death of the child, the parents strive and become very Christian. Complete change of lifestyle, very Christian, very hardworking, but of course at what price? So, God can bring people to the Faith through these trials.

What is a result of the second World War era, the generation of my parents? 20th century in Russia was a time of great sorrow. You have the Stalin purges, then you have the World War II, then leaving the Soviet Union, maybe being taken to a slave camp in Germany. They had many of the relatives killed during the War. Then in Europe, strange land, strange language, and then in Canada. But the result of these great sorrows – decent people, God-fearing people. Wherever these people arrived in Canada, in all the large cities, they would right away build a church. They do not have money for a house, but they built a church together.

Grief and sorrow bring people close to God. God is a healer. He heals the bad society and waits for people to turn towards Him… God is not punishing the world. He heals the world. Unfortunately, some of the methods can be very difficult.

In terms of sickness, in our community, there was one lady. I have never seen such a piety in all my life. She was stricken by cancer, which was very trying. But she passed the test. No anger, no resentment. Not at all. “I’m going to die. I want to take Communion once a week.” She wrote notes about what has to be done afterwards, etc. Unbelievable strength of Faith. You are asking me about sorrow. It was grief and sorrow for this lady to pass on, but what a person! Her Faith. I do not know if I have the Faith that she had. Come close to that, maybe. I was absolutely struck and marveled at this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful soul that accepted this, “I have little time. I’m going to prepare.”

The time on earth is very small compared to the time in eternity. How we live this life here is an exam for us of how we are going to be in the after life. That is your answer to sorrow and sickness. God is healing, and thank God, we have the Faith to accept the sorrow and grief in this way.

Listen or watch the insightful answers to many other life questions: SOUL & SPIRIT (downloadable)