The rapid spread of the Christian faith
Only the great truth of the Resurrection of Christ can explain the exceptionally rapid spread of the Christian faith over the whole face of the earth amid the most unfavorable conditions and situations. What else could compel thousands upon thousands of people throughout the centuries to endure indescribable torments, to shed their blood, and to give up their life for Christ? What other force could compel the rich, the noble, men of high rank, and even emperors of the proud pagan world to humbly bow down before the foot of the Cross of Christ and glorify His Resurrection? Indeed, what could compel many thousands of men and women to renounce the vain blessings, comforts, and pleasures of this world which lies in evil, and to withdraw to the deserts, mountains, caves, and precipices to live a God-pleasing life in unceasing prayer, silence, fasting, and struggles, so as to more certainly unite with Christ in the after-life, which He opened to us through His glorious Resurrection from the dead?
- From the “Paschal Sermon” by Archbishop Averky of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery