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Bishop Basil dedicated all of his life to the Lord...

Bishop Basil (Rodzianko)
"Modern Cosmology and Ancient Theology" from "The Theory of the Big Bang and the Faith of the Holy Fathers."

The world in which we now live is not the way it was when God created it in the beginning.† God did not create evil and, as we know, there is more than enough evil in this world.†God is not the source of that evil.†It is the "prince of this world".

But there is a True World which also exists - the real world fashioned by God with His own "hands" in a Divine creative act at the very beginning of everything, and after which He said "It is good".

Then where did this "mixed" world come from, in which good and evil, life and death are so intermingled?

We know from Holy Scripture about the Fall and the exile of the first people from Paradise.† This tragic event can be understood today from a natural and scientific point of view as part of the "Big Bang" theory that is accepted by modern science as a model of the universe which was formed as a result of some sort of "blow" or "shock".†But the question of what existed before the "Big Bang" - what kind of world existed before this shock - is unknown to science because it is within another realm of knowledge not recognized by scientific researchers.† For us, Christians, the answer to this question is in the Bible:† there was in the beginning a beautiful world created by God which was the dwelling place of the first human beings.

I am often asked: "but if our world is not the ítrueí world, if it is just a result of the tragic fall away from Godís creation, then what should be our attitude toward it?†Can it - and should it - be accepted and loved , or should it be rejected as completely evil and the dwelling place of the prince of this world" ?†My answer lies in the "golden median" - an awareness of the light of Godís Providence within this world.†This can be acquired through the development of a prayerful ability to discern the spirits.†This is taught in Holy Scripture and is an essential part of the theological tradition of the Holy Fathers.

The Fall was the result of an act which was the manifestation of the free will of man in the freedom given to the creature by the loving Creator.†This freedom was given so that there would not be any kind of force, but rather full freedom of choice in pure and holy love.

The Fall was a collapse and falling away from Godís world and His will.†When this happened, in the vortex of Satanism, the Creator, in His boundless love for His creation, stopped the satanic vortex with a powerful hand - His Providence, which descended to the earth and with it, salvation.

Godís Providence differs from Godís Will in that He does not will any kind of evil, but in His Providence, He acknowledges the presence of evil as a fact and battles it with His sacrificial love.†The highest form of Godís Providence is the Cross, which is both the greatest evil that ever existed in the world and also the greatest good, because the Life-creating Cross of Christ saves, restores and resurrects the fallen world.

The cornerstone of Godís Providence in the fallen world is the Most Holy Virgin Mary.†Through her sinless-ness and purity, through her un-fallen state and her response to the Archangel at the Annunciation:†"Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to His Word", she became the Mother of God Himself in His sacrifice for the world.†Thanks to the Mother of God and to the fact that she is the only one out of all mankind who did not "fall away", but fulfilled the will of God, our world is neither the incarnation of hell, nor completely evil.†There is hope for us.

The Providence of God is the process of the way back from destruction, setting into place a Divine evolution and the development of Good, of Life and Eternal Life.

One of the visible testimonies to this Providence is the existence of beauty in our world - beauty of nature, relations of human souls and deeds, etc.†Through this beauty one can discern, perceive and feel the unspeakable beauty, harmony and love in the world that was fashioned by the Creator.† It is this beauty which in its essence is the Beauty of Divine Providence that will "save the world", as Dostoevsky said.

In order to see the clear difference between "that" higher world and "this" lower world,† and to understand what is from God and what is from the "prince of this world" - that is, what God Himself created and what He simply allowed to happen - one must first see the unity of Godís creation in all things, the power of the Holy Spirit.

"This" world and "that" world are one and the same, but of a different quality.†The Spirit of God is "there" and the evil spirit is "here".†The mind alone cannot perceive this antimony without prayer and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit!†One must be able to discern the spirits, as the Holy Apostle Paul says, in order to struggle against evil and seek the Kingdom of Heaven.

The world is not only interesting, the world is endlessly beautiful and one must love its beauty, its development, its evolution towards perfection and goodness, one must love mankind as well as all of Godís lower creatures - everything and everybody - struggling with evil both in oneself and outside.

Translated from Russian by Marilyn Swezey.


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