St. Mark the ascetic said: “Whoever desires to eliminate future tribulations must bear the present tribulations with joy.”
Men consider slander as a great tribulation and there are few men who bear this
tribulation without grumbling. O beautiful is the fruit of kindly endured tribulation! Tribulation is given to us for good spiritual commerce and we are missing the opportunity thus remaining empty-handed at the market place.
Behold, even Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, Macarius, Sisoes and thousands of other followers of the Most-slandered One were themselves slandered. But God, Who orders all things for our salvation, had so ordered that on the thorn of slander would sprout fragment roses of glory for all those who are slandered for His Name. Had Stephen not been slandered would he have seen the heavens opened and seen the glory of God in the heavens? And the slander against Joseph the Chaste One, did
it not serve to his greater glory?
From the Prologue of Ochrid, by Saint Nikolai