Jeremy recently wrote this gem about suffering:"[This is] one of the most fundamental struggles of existence: being alone. No matter how intimate a friendship, no matter how close the connection to our families, no matter how deep and true a love might be, we are, as humans, created as a singular entity."
It was while really experiencing this truth during my early college years that I was exposed to Orthodoxy. This quote from a journal says it well:
To be a member of the Church comes with a heavy price that one is willing to pay. True Orthodoxy hurts, but it is alive. When one finds it one finds the living, throbbing heart of Christianity and one will never want to return to the lifeless mask of false Christianity.
One may come to Orthodoxy because of its external beauty or profundity or historical continuity. But only when one goes deeper and is not afraid to go underneath the surface, will he discover a new and startling fact:
To be Orthodox means to suffer and to be all alone, alone and hurting before God.
True Orthodoxy has been called, in the words of St. Gregory the Theologian (whose Feast day we just celebrated), "suffering Orthodoxy." Far from making one comfortable, this Orthodoxy disturbs us, it shakes us up, it convicts the conscience, annihilating all forms of self-righteousness and revealing, with the fiery light of God's Truth, all the lies that we were taught and we have told to ourselves.