by Abbot Tryphon
When we are judged and maligned and conspired against
Within the life of the Church we sometimes see jealousy, envy, and slander taking center stage. The history of the Church is filled with sad occasions where brothers have heaped attacks on their brothers, with bishops conspiring against bishops, priests conspiring against priests, and monastics being judged and maligned. The lives of the saints are filled with such tales, for accepting the slander of others is what makes saints. Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Nektarios of Pentapolis, and Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, are but three examples of great saints who suffered slander and persecution during their lifetimes.
The key to receiving the salvific benefit of such attacks has always been found in our willingness to accept such treatment as God allowed. Gaining humility of heart must always be the goal, and it is only in having gained a humble and contrite heart that we will see the Gates of Paradise opened wide for us. The praise of others does nothing to further the cause of our soul’s transformation. Slander, when received with a peaceful heart, is of greater value than all the congratulatory words, and the praise of others. When we don’t react, when we don’t resent, and when we guard our inner peace, we are clinging to the Co-Suffering Saviour, Who Himself was conspired against, slandered and maligned.