"Brokenness, sin, and the evil we see around us is foreign to the original purpose for which God created us. Evil is not natural to the creation of man. Each generation has the same measure of freedom to conform its mind and heart - the "personality" - to God.
St. Gregory wrote: "But in the way I have described, the whole procession of sin entered into man's life for his undoing, and from a tiny source poured out upon mankind an infinite sea of evil. The soul's divine beauty ... was ... darkened with the rust of sin; it no longer kept the beauty of the image it once possessed by nature, and was transformed into the ugliness of evil....
To be created in God's image means in one respect that the radical freedom man enjoys will not be violated by God. If such freedom did not exist, man would be less than a creature created in God's image. This freedom is part and parcel of man's high calling to become a son of God; a calling that exists even when mankind refuses to hear it.
Further, the fact that creation was deemed good and the radical disordering - the brokenness -- that is evident everywhere is extrinsic to it, means that man and the world can be redeemed. (If brokenness were intrinsic to creation, redemption would not be possible.) This redemption can reach into the deepest places of our soul and extend into the deepest reaches of the universe.
Here we begin to see that a Savior is necessary. Man is existentially locked in a prison of sin and death, yet retains awareness and experiences a deep longing for life outside of it. God, never ceasing to love His creation, and longing that His creatures might return that love intervenes in the affairs of man...
Man shares in this new of life of Christ - a life in which the power, wisdom -- gifts of God -- are given to man through baptism. Man receives the Holy Spirit in baptism - the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 6) - which also functions as the promise of a future resurrection just as Christ was raised. Before that promise is fulfilled however, some serious work needs to be done. We must confront our own brokenness and sin. ....
Once again St. Peter of Damaskos showed us the way to turn around adversity: "... all things in life are twofold: day and night, light and dark, health and sickness, virtue and vice, ease and adversity, life and death. Through the help from above we in our weakness come to love God ... knowing that all things are perfectly good and beautiful
(Genesis 1:31) and God orders them for our benefit" (Philokalia III).
A person without God cannot make sense of evil and brokenness in the world. To change for the better on a human level is good. To change by coming to love God when confronting evil and brokenness is to participate in the Divine Life itself.
Here the words of St. Paul can be properly understood and applied: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Only in weakness and brokenness can love emerge. The brokenness in the world, often a source of despair, is transformed into an opportunity to empty ourselves (kenosis) from our own passions of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth and put on Christ - an emptying that reaches fulfillment in love towards God and neighbor.