Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Epistle of James – 1, 12
St. Paisios the Athonite
One day, I went to Father Paisios and asked him:
– Elder, what do saints have that makes them different from the rest of us and thus they receive the grace of God?
– Our saints had divine justice instead of human justice, he replied.
I will tell you another story, so you can have a better understanding. If someone tells me: “Father, you must leave your cell because it belongs to me. Go down and stay by the cypress tree (which is located in the garden of the cell).” If I have divine justice, I will gladly accept it, thank him for his offer and be satisfied, because he allowed me to have my cypress tree back. However, if I acted according to human justice, because this is what I wish to apply to my life, I would reject his offer and start arguing with him, and eventually end up in court.
The true Christian must never condemn, or press charges against his fellow men, even if someone takes by force his clothes. There is a difference between those people who believe in Christ and those who do not. Christians abide by the law of divine justice whereas the unfaithful ones by the law of human justice.
Human justice is zero compared to divine justice. Our Lord was the first one to apply divine justice. Neither did He find excuses for Himself when He was being accused, nor protested when people spat on Him, or threatened when He was suffering. He patiently and silently endured everything, without reacting in the least. He even let them tear His clothes off; thus God was ridiculed for standing naked in the presence of His own creations. The most important thing was that He did not only seek help from human justice, but, instead, He justified His persecutors and prayed to His Father to forgive them. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34).
Unfortunately, we do not follow the example of God and never cease to condemn others in order, for example, to take back the money they owe us, sometimes demanding also its interest. Consequently, what appears at first like justice turns out to be the beginning of an injustice.
When someone wavers between human and divine justice, he resembles the one who sometimes worships God and other times the idols.
Divine justice is against human law. Human law is inflexibly equal to all, for it never deviates, but attributes justice to everyone, by putting more emphasis on its regulations than on each individual person. However, divine justice at times deviates and is sympathetically granted to all; it doesn’t mistreat people who deserve punishment, while it plentifully rewards the praiseworthy ones.
Saints they firmly believed in divine justice; that is, even if they were treated unjustly from a human point of view, they hoped divine justice, which neither makes mistakes, nor forgets, would divinely act at the right time.
Justice is like a cork; no matter how hard we press it to the bottom of the sea, it will always come back to the surface. Therefore, we should endure with pleasure any kind of injustice done to us for the sake of Christ. He urged us to always seek God’s justice and “all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:33). When we apply divine justice to our lives, we will always be justified.