God Suffers With Those Who Suffer

 

When I was in prison and I saw people who died in prayer, people who were suffering and prayed for those who made them suffer, people who were in prison together with their children and their parents suffered and prayed for all, I understood that truly, Christ suffers with us.

Christ is not present in all those who suffer because if a person curses, Christ cannot exist in him. But we must treat him, as Paulescu said, as if Christ was in him. I have dealt with things like these that have entered my mind as well as my heart… All people who suffer deserve our mercy.

In prison I understood this truth - that God suffers with those who suffer. If Christ’s suffering was for everybody, why should our suffering be lost? God balances everything. In the day of Judgement God will measure the people who suffered and did not complain, the people who suffered and prayed, those who suffered because of others and have prayed for their persecutors, for good and bad people, because God can turn many from wickedness and lack of faith.

(Translation from Father Gheorghe Calciu, Cuvinte vii, ediţie îngrijită la Mănăstirea Diaconeşti, Editura Bonifaciu, 2009, p. 139)