There will come a time when a great storm will burst. They will insult us, they will slander us, they will judge us. But we must show patience, we must not say any bad word and we must forgive them from the heart and speak nicely to them and pray for these people. Overcome evil with good, let yourself be wronged, but don`t do any wrong to anyone. This is the law of the Gospel. When we face any temptation in this way who endures will surely receive great blessings from God. Every time the man hears bitter, poisonous words about him, in that moment those words hurt his head like some thorns and he wears enduringly a wreath of thorns. He feels pain in his heart and soul but Christ bears his crown of thorns and God will crown him with honor and glory. He will gain this wreath with his blood, but it is worth.
I will tell you the story of a soul who amazed me with her great nobleness. A few years ago, here in the Diaspora there was a woman who was left by her husband. Another person had come in their house, took her man and they went away. This woman came one day in the place where I was listening to the confessions of the believers and approached me very respectfully and lovingly. She knelt down and cried.
`Why are you crying my daughter? What`s happening with you?`
`You know father I am not crying for a sin of mine, I am crying so that my husband will be enlightened and repent because he made the mistake to leave with another woman and sinned before God. And he comes in my house with that woman and I receive them, I lay the table for them, they sleep then they leave. I kiss my husband I kiss that woman too, I make them gifts, I give them blessings and they leave. Then they come back.
`And why are you doing this, my daughter?`
`Christ says in the Gospel to love even our enemies, doesn`t He? This woman is for me the greatest enemy since she took my husband but I must love her. And since Christ asks from us to love our enemies and give all our being and love to them, this is what I do too. And I am crying for him to be enlightened by God and receive repentance. Please pray for him too, your holiness.
Can you appreciate the virtue of this woman? How can God not forgive this woman whatever she would have done?
And her tears were for nothing else but for the wreath which was given to her for this great victory of love. Here is an example of what kind of people are created by the application of the Gospel. And she is not fool at all, she is a very intelligent woman and a very strong person. A hidden heroine of the Gospel, not known to anyone.
While we the wretched ones, and I am the first of all, would have never done this. We might have cursed, slandered, hit, damn that man and that woman. And you see what a beautiful person the Gospel has created. This woman in the Day of the Judgment will judge another woman who had the same kind of trouble but who faced it differently. And she will not have any entitlement to say to God: `Since the wrong done to me was so big what else could I have done?` See what this woman has done. You could have done the same if you had followed the command of the Gospel.`
Excerpt from the book The Art of Salvation, published by Evanghelismos.