In this video recording, Fr. Rafail Noica, a disciple of St. Sophrony the Athonite, living now as a hermit in Romanian mountains, comforts us and tells us that “perdition is ‘impossible’, because God is all-powerful and His love is not overcome by any sin… And God ‘only knows’ how to save us, because He loves”.
Video source: “Din ce moarte ne-a izbavit Hristos?” December 15, 2005, Alba Iulia, Romania
Can you imagine an angry God? Oh, how many times I have experienced this and heard it from so many of you in letters and in conversations: “maybe I have sinned and God got angry and doesn’t want to hear me anymore.” That’s heresy! I started by saying that it is important to remember this: in difficult moments when, keeping our mind in hell – not like Silouan – we don’t know, we don’t have that full experience – but when I have a sense of guilt, when I start feeling my sin […] there is no need to hide behind my imagination or in the bushes like Adam, or something like that.
It’s about accepting who I am, no matter how ugly, no matter how bad I am. Because from what I am for real, that sinner, God takes me out of that sinfulness. And on the one hand, He is all-powerful and He can get me out of anywhere, there is no limit to God’s power, on the other hand, His love, in short, is invincible to any sinfulness. Well, paradoxically, the more sinful I am, the brighter the love of God’s omnipotence or the omnipotence of God’s love shows itself, because He takes me out of that, through the means that my sinfulness offers to God, so to speak. And I want to say, if you look at God’s love, is it possible for man to perish?
Perdition is ‘impossible’, because God is all-powerful and His love is not overcome by anything, no matter what sin I may have committed. Then why they talk about perdition? It is all about human freedom. Like the angels, some of them fell and others remained with God. Freedom is perhaps the number one point of this image of God and the resemblance to God. If God would save me by force, I would not be a god, because I was forced. It’s about my freedom, my being able to say no to God’s omnipotence and love and to perish. And this is, in the negative, a measure of man’s freedom and God’s love in which He made man to be like God. The same freedom can, in spite of everything, lead me to perdition and death. Of course, this freedom is what God gave me so that, in spite of everything, I could be saved. And God ‘only knows’ how to save us, because He loves.