One of the fathers was asked, “What do you do all day in the monastery?” He replied, “We fall down and get up; fall down and get up; fall down and get up again.”
This, I think, may be the most accurate and faithful description of the Christian life that I know. We fall, and we fall repeatedly. Our very best intentions often serve to make the sting of the fall all the more painful. In my experience, many Christians harbor a quiet despair.
The world suffered a great loss recently with the death of Archimandrite Roman Braga. He was among a number of great Romanian figures who survived the terrible prison in Piteşti, during the early 1950’s. The Communist regime had decided to carry out a program of psychological and physical torture on Christians that are among the worst ever visited on the Church.
Fr. Roman, Fr. George Calciu, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and others survived the ordeal. Alexander Solzhenitsyn once labeled the Piteşti prison program as “the most terrible act of barbarism in the contemporary world.”
The stories related by the survivors give us a window into the unimaginable.
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