Note because of stigmata but because it appears that Orthodoxy, specially in the West, reinterprets the early Faith in a way that all suffering and mortification is removed.
This is a false interpretation. One only needs to look at the liturgical, patristic and iconographic traditions of the Orthodox Church to realise that there is a balance between mortification and dispassion. Orthodox iconography does not show a ravaged, bloody Jesus on the cross, but the Christ, the Son of God who is also the Son of Man, giving Himself freely for the salvation of humanity. On the other hand, the rigors of Great Lent (dietary, liturgical and devotional) among observant Orthodox would make the average western Christian blanch. We don't just "give up chocolate".
ignatius, are you familiar with the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete?
I hear "Lord have Mercy"... endlessly and yet few Orthodox would even admit that we need to ask this from a Loving God. St. Seraphim of Sarov knelt for 'years' on bloodly knees yet few Orthodox would look at this as anything but masochism.
So why is the very rock on which St. Seraphim kneeled with bloody knees venerated by thousands of Orthodox? Why do many popular icons of the saint depict him kneeling on the rock?
It sounds like you're battling an illusory version of Orthodoxy that you constructed on the basis of internet discussions.
I think I am pointing out the hypocrisy of 'some' Orthodox who seek to artificially widen the divide between the West and the East with regards to mortification and the Stigmata as a genuine sign of Christ and His devout followers the Apostles.
The Orthodox critique of "stigmata" that I've seen has nothing to do with rejecting mortification or suffering. It has to do with the overall spiritual approach that produces stigmatics, which tends to be passionate and stimulating to the imagination, seeking after visions and spiritual experiences. The Orthodox ascetic approach is more one of prayer and repentance, avoiding any images and not soliciting God for visions or trials, only mercy. When visions come to saints, they are unbidden.
I agree that some people do exaggerate the divide between Orthodoxy and the Latins, but the key word is some
. Other people overly downplay the divide. You can find some
people to disagree with in every tradition.
Don't base your opinion of Orthodoxy on a handful of internet personalities, even if some of them promote themselves as authorities. It is very obvious in Orthodox praxis that asceticism is indispensable and central.