Ijov’s Blog

March 21, 2011

Accurate prophecies of Tarabic

Mitar Tarabic (1829-1899), an illiterate peasant from a small Serbian village called Kremna, had experienced occasional prophetic visions. Being a religious person and having a local Serbian orthodox priest for a godfather, he told this priest about his episodes of “seeing into the future”. The priest, Zaharije Zaharich (1836-1918), wrote down everything in a small notebook, which was damaged by fire in 1943 when his family house was destroyed by the occupying Bulgarian army. This text is now in the possession of the family of Zaharich’s great-grandson, Mr. Dejan Malenkovich.

Mitar Tarabic with local priest

Mitar Tarabic with local priest

Tarabic’s best-known prophecy has to do with a series of political events in 19th century Serbia. Without getting into details, I’ll tell you that he predicted a sequence of events (spanning a course of decades) that eventually led to the removal of the ruling Obrenovich family from the Serbian royal throne. This prophecy came to be known in the region as the “black prophecy”, and it did play out as predicted. It culminated in 1903 with the assassination of Alexandar Obrenovich and his wife Draga, who were killed by their own guards.

PREDICTIONS & EVENTS UP TO THE END OF WORLD WAR I

“After the assassination of the King and Queen [Alexandar and Draga Obrenovich] the Karageorgevichs will come to power. Then we will again start a war with the Turks. Four Christian states will attack Turkey, and our border will be on the river Lim. Then we shall finally conquer and avenge Kosovo…”

Historical facts:

1903 – Alexandar and Draga Obrenovich are assassinated by their own guards, and Petar Karageorgevich becomes the ruler of Serbia.

1912 – War erupts between Serbia and Turkey. With the help of Greece, Bulgaria, and Montegro (three other Christian states), Serbia soon wins, moving its borders up to the river Lim.

“Soon after this war another war will start… The Big War in which a lot of blood will be spilled. If that blood were a river, a huge stone of 300 kg would roll in its current easily. A mighty army from across a river, three times bigger than ours, will attack us… They will destroy everything on their way. They penetrate deep into our land… Hard times will come upon us… Our army will almost give up, but than suddenly an intelligent man on a black stallion will take the command and cry out:

“Forward to victory, my people! Forward brother Serbs!!” Our army springs to life. Its fighting spirit wakes up and the enemy is chased away across the river… Then an even greater army will come from the north and run over us. Our land will be devastated. We will be dying of hunger and sickness in great numbers. For three years Serbia will live in total darkness. During that time our wounded army will be abroad. They will stay in a place surrounded by the sea, and will be fed and nursed by friends from over the seas. Then, their wounds healed, they will come back home in ships. They will free Serbia and all of the territories where our brothers live.”

Historical facts:

1914 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire starts a war against Serbia, after a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip kills Austrian Prince Ferdinand in Sarajevo. This regional war soon develops into the First World War. In the beginning, Austria conquers the northern and central part of Serbia easily, but when General Alexandar Mishich (“the man on a black stallion”) takes command, the inspired Serbian army pushes the Austrians back across the river Drina. Soon after, the Germans attack from the north and the Serb army is forced to retreat through Albania to the Greek island of Kerkira.

There they regroup, and after a full recovery sail for Salonika, where they form a new front with other allied armies. After a lot of heavy fighting, Serbia is finally free and reunited with the other southern Slav nations (Croats and Slovenians), whose territories had been part of the Astro-Hungarian empire for a long time. During the German occupation, a very large number of people in Serbia died of hunger and sickness.

“I will tell you one more thing father, the invading army will come to Kremna exactly on your baptismal day, stay for 3 years, and go away on the same day they came – St. Luke`s day. But you will not see the end of the war. In the last year of the world’s big carnage you will die. Both these wars, the one with the Turks and the big one when the whole world will be at war, will take away two of your grand-children… one before, and the other after your death.”

Historical facts:

The Germans entered Kremna on St. Luke`s day, and the village was liberated on the exactly the same date 3 years later. Zaharije Zaharic died in 1918, the last year of the first “great carnage”, which also took the lives of his two beloved grand children: one before, and one after his death.

PREDICTIONS & EVENTS UP TO THE END OF WORLD WAR II

“Listen to me, my good father, after the first Big War Austria will disappear, and Serbia will be as big as a real kingdom. We will live together with our northern brothers. For some years we shall live in peace, love and prosperity. But it will not last for long. A venomous hatred will come into our people… Blood is spilled… horrible! I do not know when nor why, but it is probably because of this hatred.”

Historical facts: 1918 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolves, and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is formed. The new country is riddled with constant economic, social and political problems caused mostly by conflicts between variaous nationalistic political parties.

1928 – During a particularly fiery question period, a Parliament Member of the Serbian Radical party pulls out a hand gun and kills 3 deputies from Croatia (3 others are also wounded). Soon after this spilling of blood, a military dictatorship is established.

“Then the one who sits on the throne of our kingdom is killed. He will leave behind a widow and orphans. A relative of his will replace him on the throne, and he will try to rule justly and take good care of his cousin`s children. But people do not love him, and he is accused of being an unjust ruler. He is dethroned and imprisoned by his army. His life will be saved by England`s King and Queen. Then on the empty throne, our killed King’s boy sits. But he will rule only for a few days. He will be taken by his soldiers over the seas because our kingdom is again invaded by a foreign, evil army. All of Europe is under the rule of the crooked anti-cross.”

Historical facts:

1934 – While visiting Marseilles (in France), King Alexandar Karageorgevich is killed by a Croatian nationalist. Prince Pavle Karageorgevich, his cousin, becomes the provisional ruler because the King`s son Petar is still a minor. Because of his growing unpopularity, Pavle is ousted by his army and is exiled to England. Young Prince Petar becomes the King, but soon flees Yugoslavia before the invading Nazi hordes.

1941 – Yugoslavia is occupied by the Germans. The ominous shadow of the Nazi swastika covers most of Europe.

“In the beginning Russia will not wage war, but when attacked by the evil army, they will fight back. There is a red Czar on the Russian throne. Here, men with stars on their foreheads will appear. They will rule Uzice and this region for exactly 73 days, and then fleeing their enemies, they will go over the river Drina. These are times of hunger and great evil… Serbs will fight and butcher each other. The invading enemy looks upon Serbian evil hatred and laughs at us. A man with blue eyes on a white horse appears among our people. A star shines on his forehead. The evil enemy will hunt him all over our country, in the woods, over rivers and upon the sea, but in vain. The man will gather a mighty army and free occupied Belgrade. He will chase away the enemy from our country, and our kingdom will be bigger than ever. Russia will make an alliance with other great kingdoms over the seas, and they will burn down the crooked anti-cross and free all the enslaved people of Europe.”

[NOTE: Zaharich did not always write down Tarabic’s predictions at the time they occurred. Sometimes, he would write about conversations that had taken place several weeks before… this may explain some of the repetition and out-of-sequence quotations that appear in his writing. For example, in the preceding paragraph it would seem that the first two sentences are better suited to be in the middle of the passage (after the introduction of the “man with blue eyes”), because it is his army that takes and holds Uzice for 73 days.]

Historical facts:

1941 – After being attacked by Nazi Germany, Russia enters the war. They are led by their Communist “red Czar”, Stalin. In Yugoslavia the communist party led by Josip Broz Tito, the man with blue eyes on a white horse, starts the resistance against the Germans and Italians, as well as against the Serbian and Croat national extremists who are butchering each other. The symbol of Tito`s partisans is a red star, which they proudly wear on their hats.

The first territory liberated by the partisans is the region around the city of Uzice. They hold it against a superior force for exactly 73 days… then the partisans are forced to flee over the river Drina to Bosnia. The guerilla war was fought all over Yugoslavia for 4 long years… in the woods, over rivers and upon the sea.

1945 – Yugoslavia is liberated. Tito enters Belgrade on a white horse and makes the Royal Palace his life-long residence. Communist Yugoslavia is formed, and gains more territory from the neighbouring state of Italy. The Allies free Europe. The Nazi swastika is crushed, and the the Second World War is over.

[This is Zarahic now, speaking directly:]

“Mitar told me that the man with blue eyes and the star upon his forehead, would break the long-lasting love with our Christian Orthodox brothers, the Russians. He would not be grateful to them for the fact that he was sitting on our throne because they had put him there in the first place. A great hatred would erupt between us and the Russians. Blood would be spilled among our people. These wounds would be quickly healed and we would again be friends with the Russians, but never sincerely, only formally, pretending for the sake of others not to understand how we cheat and lie to each other.”

Historical facts

1948 – Tito does not want Yugoslavia to become one of Russia’s “puppet states”. He abruptly severs all political ties with Stalin, the man who formed him politically in the early 1920`s and sent him back to Yugoslavia to organize an effective communist party. Tito purges his party of all members who oppose this decision, spilling a lot of blood in the process.

1954 – The year following Stalin`s death, political and economic relations with Russia are re-established, but “never sincerely”…

PREDICTIONS & EVENTS FOLLOWING THE END OF WORLD WAR II

“After the Great War peace will reign all over the world. Many new states will appear… black, white, red and yellow. An international court is formed, which does not allow countries to fight each other. This Court will be above all kings. Where a war starts, the Court will judge justly, trying to transform hatred and butchery into love and peace. The lucky ones who live to see these times will be more than happy.

After a while some great kings, as well as some small ones, will start to fake their respect for the Court, while doing whatever they please… Many small wars will begin because of this… thousands upon thousands will die, but there will be no big wars.

Wars in Israel

There will be a few wars around the kingdom of Israel, but sooner or later the peace will come even there. In these wars brothers fight brothers; then they make peace and kiss each other, but their hatred remains… All these small wars are initiated by the great kingdoms, because of their wickedness and malice; those who fight and butcher each other do it because of their blind stupidity.”

Historical facts:

No comment

“In our country, the time of peace and prosperity will last for a long time. Many a generation will be born to live and die in peace, knowing about war only through wise books, words and different strange apparitions. [These “different strange apparations” might be TVs and radios.]

Our kingdom will be strong and well-loved and respected by everybody. People will eat only “white” bread, and whole wheat just when they want to. Everybody will ride around in carts with no oxen. People will travel in the sky, looking down upon our land as if they had climbed on the doubled Tara mountain.

Down in Uzice, and all around these mountains, many factories will be built, and people will leave the land and come to work in them. For a long time they will love it, but then they will remember their land and go back to it.

Serbia will prosper best while the man with blue eyes on a white horse governs, one who will come to Serbia bringing some kind of new religion. He will ascend our throne, and will be strong and healthy, living a long life close to one hundred years. He will very much like to hunt, and one time while hunting he will accidently fall from his white horse and thus lose his leg. From this wound he will die, not because of his great age.”

Historical facts:

Very simply and accurately, this vision of Tarabic’s describes life in post-WWII Yugoslavia up to Tito`s death in 1981. Tito “came” to Serbia from Croatia, and had really brought with him a “new religion”: Communism. He did not have the hunting accident described by Tarabic (although he was a passionate horseman and hunter), but nevertheless the real cause of his death was the amputation of his leg, caused by his aggravated diabetes. After his death a “commission”, called the Collective Presidency, ruled the country until its collapse in 1991.

“After him our land will be governed by some kind of commission, but it will never be as it was. Even though the people in our kingdom will forget about misery and hunger and will live in great wealth, brother will start to hate and think evil of brother.

On our borders and over them a new nation will appear. They will grow like grass after a deluge, they will be good and honest, and they will answer our hatred with reason. They will take care of each other like brothers. And we, because of our madness we shall think that we know everything and that we can do anything, and we shall baptise them with some new fate of ours, but all that will be in vain. Because they will believe only in themselves and in nobody else. Big trouble will become of it, because this nation will be brave.

Many summers this trouble will last, and nobody will be able to stop it, because that nation will grow like grass. One who will be born many summers after you [Note: he is speaking to the priest Zaharic here], will be honest and intelligent, he will deal with them in peace. We shall live in peace – they there, us here and there.”

ILLUSIONS OF THE WORLD

“You see my god-father, when the world starts to live in peace and abundance after the Second Big War, all of that will be just a bitter illusion, because many will forget God, and they will worship only their own human intelligence… And do you know my god-father, what is human intelligence compared to God’s will and knowledge? Not even a single drop in the ocean.

Men will build a box and within will be some kind of gadget with images, but they will not be able to communicate with me already dead, even though this image gadget will be as close to this other world as hairs on the human scalp are close to each other.”

“With the help of this image-gadget man will be able to see everything that is happening all over the world.

People will drill wells deep in the ground and dig out gold [another name for crude oil is “black gold”], which will give them light, speed and power, and the earth will shed tears of sorrow, because there will be much more gold and light on its surface than in its interior. The earth will suffer because of these open wounds. Instead of working in the fields, people will dig everywhere, in right and wrong places, but the real power will be all around them, not being able to tell them: “Come on, take me, don’t you see that I am here, all around you.” Only after many a summer, people will remember this real power, and then they will realise how stupid it was to dig all those holes. This power will also be present in people but it will take a long time before they discover it and use it. Thus man will live for a long, long time, not being able to know himself. There will be many learned men who will think through their books that they know and can do everything. They will be the great obstacle for this realisation [self-knowledge], but once men get this knowledge, then people will see what kind of delusion it was when they listened to their learned men. When that happens, people will be so sorry that they didn’t discover it before, because this knowledge is so simple.

People will do many stupid things, thinking that they know and can do everything, not knowing anything. Wise men will appear in the Orient and their wisdom will cross all seas and frontiers, but people will not trust this wisdom for long time, and this real truth they will proclaim for a lie.

Their souls will not be possessed by the Devil, but by something much worse. They will believe that their illusion is the real truth, although there will be no truth in their heads. Here at home it will be the same as all over the world. People will start to hate clean air and this divine freshness and all divine beauty and will hide in rankness. Nobody will force them to do that, but they will do it of their own free will. Here in Kremna many a field will become a meadow, and many a home will be abandoned, but then those who have left will come back to heal themselves by breathing fresh air. In Serbia it will not be possible to distinguish a man from a woman. Everybody will dress the same. This calamity will come to us from abroad but it will stay with us the longest. A groom will take a bride, but nobody will know who is who. People will be lost and more and more senseless day by day. Men will be born not knowing who was their grand-father and great grand-father. People will think that they know everything, but not a thing they will know.

UNHOLY ONE ATTACKS SERBIA – 1990 TO 2000

The Serbs will separate from each other, and they will say: “I am not a Serb, I am not a Serb.” The unholy one will infiltrate this nation and bed with Serbian sisters, mothers and wives. He will sire such children that among the Serbs, since the beginning of the world, these will be the worst of offspring. Only weaklings will be born, and nobody will be strong enough to give a birth to a real hero.”

[This last paragraph might also be a reference to the current situation in the Balkans. If you assume that Tarabic made no distinction between Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, etc., then it is quite possible that by saying “I am not a Serb, I am not a Serb”, he means to indicate all those that have distanced themselves from the former Yugoslavia. On the other hand, he might also be referring to a situation that has not happened yet.]

“At one time we shall disappear from this land of ours. We shall go to the north, and then realising our stupid deed we shall return. When we come back, we shall wise up and chase away the unholy one, not to see him, in God’s name, ever again.

MORE ILLUSION

The whole world will be plagued by a strange disease and nobody will be able to find a cure; everybody will say I know, I know, because I am learned and smart, but nobody will know anything. People will think and think, but they will not be able to find the right cure, which will be with God’s help, all around them and in themselves.

Man will travel to other worlds to find lifeless deserts there, and still, God forgive him, he will think that he knows better than God himself. There, except the eternal peace of God, he will see nothing, but he will sense with his heart and soul all of God’s beauty and power. People will drive in rigs upon the moon and stars. They will look for life, but life similar to ours they will not find. It will be there, but they will not be able to understand it and see that it is life.

One who goes there, God forgive him, not believing in God as it is proper for an honourable and decent person, when he comes back he will say: “Oh, you people, who mention God’s name with doubt, go there where I was, than you will see what is God’s mind and power.”

The more people will know, the less they will love and care for each other. Hatred will be so great between them that they will care more for their different gadgets than for their relatives. Man will trust his gadget more than his first neighbour…

Among people of a nation far in the north a little man will appear who will teach men about love and compassion, but there will be many Judas and hypocrites around him so that he will have many ups and downs. Not one of these hypocrites will want to know what is real human grace, but his wise books will remain, and all the words he will say [tape recordings?], and then then people will see how self-deceived they were.

Those who will read and write different books with numbers will think that they know the most. These learned men will let their lives be led by their calculations, and they will do and live exactly how these numbers tell them. Among these learned men there will be good and evil men. The evil ones will do evil deeds. They will poison air and water and spread pestilence over the seas, rivers and earth, and people will start to die suddenly of various ailments. Those good and wise will see that all this effort and hard work is not worth a penny and that it leads to the destruction of the world, and instead of looking for wisdom in numbers, they will start to seek it in meditation.

EVIL ONES RAVAGE THE EARTH – WORLD WAR III

When they start to meditate more, they will be closer to God’s wisdom, but it will be too late, because the evil ones will already ravage the whole earth and men will start to die in great numbers. Then people will run away from cities to the country and look for the mountains with three crosses, and there, inside, they will be able to breathe and drink water. Those who will escape will save themselves and their families, but not for long, because a great famine will appear. There will be plenty of food in towns and villages, but it will be poisoned. Many will eat because of hunger and die immediately. Those who will fast to the end will survive, because the Holy Ghost will save them and they will be close to God.

[I think the “mountains with three crosses” could be referring to nuclear shelters. If you look at the door of one of these shelters, you might see three turn-handles, used for unlocking and opening it… Tarabic might well have interpreted these handles as “three crosses”.]

“People waging this war will have their scientists who will invent different and strange cannon-balls. When they explode, these cannon-balls, instead of killing, will cast a spell over all that lives; people, armies and live stock. This spell will make them sleep, and sleep they will instead of fighting, and after they will come back to their senses.

We [Serbia] will not fight in this war, but others will do battle over our heads. Burning people will fall from the sky over Pozega [a town in Serbia]. Only one country at the end of the world, surrounded by great seas, as big as our Europe, will live in peace, without any troubles… Upon it or over it not a single cannon-ball will explode! Those who will run and hide in the mountains with three crosses will find shelter and will be saved to live after in abundance, happiness and love, because there will be no more wars…”

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March 11, 2011

Wonders of Saint Takla Haymonot of Ethiopia

The great saint, Abba Takla Haymanot has a very prominent position in the Coptic Orthodox Church. The church celebrates an annual feast to commemorate the greatness of this Ethiopian saint – August 31.

Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia

Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia

Life, ministry and miracles

His father was an Ethiopian priest who loved Archangel Michael and his mother was a rich and righteous woman who also loved Archangel Michael. Together, they always celebrated the archangel’s feast on the twelfth of each month. After many years of prayer and supplications a son, “Feseha Zion” (the joy of Zion) was born into this family, for St. Takla’s mother was barren until his birth.

The tidings of Archangel Michael were fulfilled when he said to Tsega Ze-Ab, Feseha Zion’s father, “You will be the father of a child who will be an apostle in Ethiopia.” His parents were overjoyed with his birth and celebrated by having a feast inviting the poor. Three days after his birth, the Holy Spirit descended upon Fesha Zion and the infant opened his mouth and said, “One is the Holy Father. One is the Holy Son. One is the Holy Spirit.”

Since childhood, Feseha Zion performed many miracles. One such famous miracle occurred at the age of eighteen months. A famine had spread throughout the land of his family. As a result of the famine, Tsega Ze-Ab and his wife had nothing to celebrate the feast of their beloved Archangel Michael.

One day while Fesha Zion was being nursed he pointed to the flour basket, which was completely empty. His devout mother brought it to him and immediately when he touched the basket it became filled with flour. Basket after basket was placed before him until twelve overflowed with flour. She then decided to bring the oil jar to him. Fesha Zion placed his hand inside the jar and made the sign of the cross. Oil began to fill the jar. From this jar the mother poured oil into other jars until there was plenty for their monthly agape for the needy in honor of Archangel Michael.

St. Takla Haymanot

When he was fifteen years old his reverent father took him to the Bishop of Amhara, Bishop Kyrillos, who saw a vision from God to ordain Feseha Zion a deacon. As a deacon he continued to perform miracles and began to heal the sick. Many confessed him to be a god, but he told them that only the One True God is worthy of honor, praise and worship.

One day while hunting with friends, Archangel Michael appeared unto deacon Feseha Zion and told him to dedicate the rest of his life to saving people’s souls. The Archangel further told him that God would bestow upon him the ability to cure many illnesses, raise the dead, and cast out evil spirits in His Holy Name. It was then that Archangel Michael changed his name to Takla Haymanot, which means, “Paradise of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

St. Takla returned home and distributed all his money among the poor. Soon thereafter, Bishop Cyril ordained him the priest of Shewa (Shoa). St. Takla focused his attention on the spiritual welfare of those around him. He preached the Holy Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins. He continually cured the sick and performed many miracles. As a result of the holiness of this man many were converted to Christianity.

He drove out evil spirits, cast our demons, he converted kings. St. Takla was bestowed with many gifts from the Lord. He raised the dead and could foretell events and quietly tell true prophecies. He labored among the hardest of tasks in the monasteries he dwelt with thanksgiving. He escaped from all praise. He continually led a life of devoutness-fasting, praying, chanting and kneeling before the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why St. Takla’s icon depicts him with six wings

One of the most famous of stories related to this saint is of his abiding in the Monastery of Abba Aragawi at the top of a very high, steep mountain. After living some time at this remote monastery, an angel of the Lord appeared to St. Takla and told him to go down to the base of the mountain and dwell in a cave to be found there. He bid the abbot of the monastery and the monks’ farewell, requesting their prayers and began his descent from the top of the towering mountain. As was the custom, the monks tied the saint with a rope to aid in his descent from the peak of the mountaintop. The rope broke suddenly and the monks feared the worst. Instantly and miraculously, six wings appeared from the saint and flew him safely and swiftly to the base of the mountain. Due to this miracle St. Takla’s icon features him with six beautiful white wings like the Cherubim.

Frightening funeral of dr. Raymond Diocres

Raymond Diocres, a professor at the Sorbonne, and a man with a universal reputation for learning and apparent virtue, died in Paris. Three days later, his coffin, beautifully adorned with the symbols of his profession, was brought into the cathedral with solemnity, accompanied by his fellow professors, by a large group of students and many priests.

Hundreds attended the funeral service; innumerable candles were lit and prayers were offered for him by those who had admired the great knowledge and virtues of the illustrious deceased. But when the choir came to the passage in the Office of the Dead: ‘What are my faults and my sins? My misdeeds and my sins make known to me!’ which Holy Job asks in Scripture, suddenly the corpse, which was lying exposed on its bier, moved before their eyes, sat up, and cried out in accents of desperation which matched the despair in his eyes: ‘By the judgement of God, I have been accused, judged and condemned’.

Having said this, he fell back, never to move again. Thus the world- renowned professor had hidden vice under the appearance of virtue. But God, who scrutinizes hearts, knew his sins and punished him for them.

Dead Raymond Diocres speaks after death

It was because of this event that St. Bruno of Cologne (1030-1101) went to great extremes in rejecting the pleasures of this world by founding a monastery in the Chartreuse Mountains, a home for the Carthusian Order. The Carthusians are, to this day, renowned for being the most rigorous and ascetic of all the cloistered orders.

February 20, 2011

Apparitions of Archangel Michael

Various apparitions of this powerful Angel have proved the protection of Saint Michael over the Church. We may mention his apparition in Rome, where Saint Gregory the Great saw him in the air sheathing his sword, to signal the cessation of a pestilence and the appeasement of God’s wrath.

Mon Saint Michel, France

Another apparition to Saint Ausbert, bishop of Avranches in France, led to the construction of Mont-Saint-Michel in the sea, a famous pilgrimage site. May 8th, however, is destined to recall another no less marvelous apparition, occurring near Monte Gargano in the Kingdom of Naples.

Apparition of Archangel Miachel at Gargano, Italy

In the year 492 a man named Gargan was pasturing his large herds in the countryside. One day a bull fled to the mountain, where at first it could not be found. When its refuge in a cave was discovered, an arrow was shot into the cave, but the arrow returned to wound the one who had sent it. Faced with so mysterious an occurrence, the persons concerned decided to consult the bishop of the region. He ordered three days of fasting and prayers. After three days, the Archangel Saint Michael appeared to the bishop and declared that the cavern where the bull had taken refuge was under his protection, and that God wanted it to be consecrated under his name and in honor of all the Holy Angels.

Accompanied by his clergy and people, the pontiff went to that cavern, which he found already disposed in the form of a church. The divine mysteries were celebrated there, and there arose in this same place a magnificent temple where the divine Power has wrought great miracles. To thank God’s adorable goodness for the protection of the holy Archangel, the effect of His merciful Providence, this feast day was instituted by the Church in his honor.

It is said of this special guardian and protector of the Church that, during the final persecution of Antichrist, he will powerfully defend it: “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince who protects the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1)

Video about Archangels:

January 15, 2009

Teachings of St. Seraphim of Sarov

From the Teachings of St. Seraphim of Sarov

About God

God is fire, warming and igniting the heart and inward parts. So, if we feel coldness in our hearts, which is from the devil (for the devil is cold), then let us call the Lord: He, in coming, will warm our heart with perfect love, not only towards Himself, but to our neighbors as well. And the coldness of the despiser of good will run from the face of His warmth.

Where there is God, there is no evil. Everything coming from God is peaceful, healthy and leads a person to the judgment of his own imperfections and humility.

God shows us His love for man not only in those instances when we do good, but also when we affront Him with our sins and anger Him. With what longsuffering he bears our lawlessness! “Do not call God a rightful Judge,” says St. Isaac, “for His rightful judgment is not seen in your deeds. True, David called Him a righteous judge and rightly, but the Son of God has shown us that God is good and merciful even more. Where is His righteous judgment? We were sinners, but Christ died for us” (St. Isaac the Syrian, Word 90).

The Reasons for Christ’s Coming

Christ came because of: (1) God’s love towards the human race: “For so God loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16); (2) the restoration of the image and likeness of God in fallen man; (3) the salvation of human souls: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

And so, we, following the goals of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, must lead our lives according to His Godly teaching, in order to save our souls by it.

Faith

Faith, according to the teachings of St. Antioch, is the beginning of our union with God: the true believers are the stone of the church of God, prepared for the edifice of God the Father, which is raised up to the heights by the power of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Cross and help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). The works of faith are love, peace, longsuffering, mercy, humility, bearing one’s cross and life by the spirit. True faith cannot remain without works. One who truly believes will also surely perform good works.

Hope

All those having firm hope in God are raised to Him and enlightened with the radiance of eternal light.

If a person does not have superfluous care for himself, out of his love for God and for virtuous deeds, and knows that God will take care of him, then this hope is true and wise. But if a person places all his hope in his works, and turns to God in prayer only when unforeseen misfortunes befall him, then he, seeing that he lacks the means of averting them in his own abilities, begins to hope for help from God — but such a hope is trivial and false. True hope seeks the one Kingdom of God and is sure that everything necessary for this mortal life will surely be given. The heart cannot have peace until it acquires this hope. This hope pacifies it fully and brings joy to it. The most holy lips of the Saviour spoke about this very hope: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).

Love for God

He who has acquired perfect love for God goes through this life as if he did not exist. For he considers himself a stranger to all that is visible, and awaits with patience that which is unseen. He is completely transformed into love for God and has abandoned all worldly attachments.

He who truly loves God considers himself a wanderer and newcomer on earth, for in him is a striving towards God in soul and mind, which contemplates Him alone.

As for care of the soul, a person in his body is like a lighted candle. The candle must burn out, and a person must die. But as our soul is immortal, so our cares should be directed more toward the soul than the body: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mt. 16:26)” for which, as is known, nothing in the world can serve as ransom? If the soul alone is worth more than all the world and the worldly kingdom, then the Kingdom of Heaven is incomparably more precious. We consider the soul as most precious for the reason stated by Macarius the Great, that God did not desire to bond and unite His spiritual essence with any visible creation except man, whom He loves more than any of His creations.

Love for Neighbors

One must behave affectionately toward one’s neighbors, not showing even a hint of offense. When we turn away from a person or offend him, it is as if a rock settles on our heart. One must try to cheer the spirit of an embarrassed or dejected person with words of love.

When you see a brother sinning, cover him, as counseled by St. Isaac the Syrian: “Stretch out your vestment over the sinner and cover him.”

In our relations with our neighbors we must be equally pure towards everyone in word as well as in thought; otherwise we will make our life useless. We must love others no less than ourselves, in accordance with the law of the Lord: “Thou shalt love … thy neighbour as thyself” (Lk. 10:27). But not so much that our love for others, by extending past the boundaries of moderation, diverts us from fulfilling the first and main law of love towards God, as our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt. 10:37).

Mercy

It is necessary to be merciful to those wretched and wandering. The great lightgivers and Fathers of the Church took great care concerning this. In relation to this virtue we must try by all means to fulfill the following law of God: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful,” and, “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Lk. 6:36; Mt. 9:13). The wise heed these saving words, but the foolish do not heed them. For this reason the reward is also different, as is said: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).

The example of Peter the Breadgiver, who, for a piece of bread given to a beggar, received forgiveness for all his sins (as was revealed to him in a vision) may prompt us to be merciful to our neighbors — for even a small alms may contribute to the obtaining of the Heavenly Kingdom.

Giving alms must be done with a spiritually kind disposition, in agreement with the teachings of St. Isaac the Syrian: “If you give anything to him who asks, may the joy of your face precede your alms, and comfort his sorrow with kind words.”


Non-Judgment and the Forgiveness of Offenses

It is not right to judge anyone, even if you have seen someone sinning and wallowing in the violations of God’s laws with your own eyes, as is said in the word of God: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Mt. 7:1). “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4). It is much better always to bring to memory the words of the apostle: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).

One must not harbor anger or hatred towards a person that is hostile toward us. On the contrary, one must love him and do as much good as possible towards him, following the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you” (Mt. 5:44). If then we will try to fulfill all this to the extent of our power, we can hope that God’s light will begin to shine in our hearts, lighting our path to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Why do we judge our neighbors? Because we are not trying to get to know ourselves. Someone busy trying to understand himself has no time to notice the shortcomings of others. Judge yourself — and you will stop judging others. Judge a poor deed, but do not judge the doer. It is necessary to consider yourself the most sinful of all, and to forgive your neighbor every poor deed. One must hate only the devil, who tempted him. It can happen that someone might appear to be doing something bad to us, but in reality, because of the doer’s good intentions, it is a good deed. Besides, the door of penitence is always open, and it is not known who will enter it sooner — you, “the judge,” or the one judged by you.

Penitence

One desiring salvation must always have a heart inclined towards penitence and contrition: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:19). With such a contrite spirit a person can avoid without trouble all the artful tricks of the devil, whose efforts are all directed towards disturbing the spirit of a person. By this disturbance he sows tares (i.e., weeds), according to the words of the Gospel: “Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this’” (Mt. 13:27-28). But when a person struggles to have a meek heart and to keep peace in his thoughts, then are all the wiles of the enemy powerless; for, where there is peace of thought, God Himself resides: “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion” (Ps. 76:2).

We offend the greatness of God with our sinning throughout our entire lives, and so must always humbly ask the Lord forgiveness for our sins.


Fast

The leader of feats and our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, before setting out on the feat of redeeming the human race, fortified Himself with a lengthy fast. And all ascetics, proceeding to work for the Lord, armed themselves by fasting and did not set out on the path of the Cross without the feat of fasting. They measured the very success of their ascetism by their success in fasting.

Despite their fasting, and to the surprise of others, the holy fathers did not know weakness but always remained hearty, strong and ready for the task at hand. Illnesses were rare among them and their lives were extraordinarily prolonged.

During the time that the body of one fasting becomes thin and light, the spiritual life attains to perfection and reveals itself through miraculous manifestations. The spirit then performs its actions as if in a bodiless body. External feelings are as shut out, and the mind, renouncing the worldly, ascends to the heavenly and becomes completely immersed in the contemplation of the spiritual world. Yet not everyone can take upon himself strict rules of abstinence from everything, nor deprive himself completely of all that serves to relieve infirmities: “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it” (Mt. 19:12).

One should take enough food everyday to strengthen the body, so that it can be a friend and helper to the soul in accomplishing virtues: otherwise it can happen that through the exhaustion of the body the spirit can weaken. On Wednesdays and Fridays, particularly during the four Lenten periods, follow the example of the Fathers and take food once a day — and the Angel of the Lord will affix himself to you.

Patience and Humility

It is necessary always to be patient and to accept everything that happens, no matter what, with gratitude for God’s sake. Our life — is a minute compared to eternity. And for this reason “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

Bear the insults of your enemy in silence, and open your heart only to the Lord. Try in any way possible to forgive those who humiliate you or take away your honor, by the words of the Gospel: “Of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again” (Lk. 6:30).

When people curse us, we must consider ourselves unworthy of praise, imagining that if we were worthy, everyone would be bowing down to us. We must always, and before everyone, humble ourselves, according to the teachings of St. Isaac the Syrian: “Humble yourself and you will see the glory of God within yourself.”

Illnesses

The body is the handmaid of the soul, and the soul — its queen. Therefore it often happens that by the mercy of God our body is debilitated by illnesses. Passions weaken because of illnesses, and the person becomes well. Sometimes bodily illness itself is born of passions. To bear illness with patience and gratitude is regarded as a feat, and even more than one.

One elder, suffering from dropsy, told this to the brethren who came to him, desiring to heal him: “Fathers, pray, that my inner person is not subjected to a similar illness. But concerning the present illness, I ask God that he not suddenly relieve me of it, “for though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

The Spiritual World

The spiritual world is gained by sorrows. The scriptures say: “We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place” (Ps. 66:12). For those who desire to serve God the path lies through many sorrows. How can we praise the holy martyrs for the sufferings which they bore for God, when we cannot even bear a fever?

Nothing so aids the acquiring of internal peace as silence, and as much as is possible, continual discussion with oneself and rarely with others.

A sign of spiritual life is the immersion of a person within himself and the hidden workings within his heart.

This peace, as some priceless treasure, did our Lord Jesus Christ leave his followers before His death, saying, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). The apostle also spoke this about it: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7); “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

In this way, we must direct all our thoughts, desires and actions toward obtaining God’s peace, and always cry out with the Church: “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us” (Is. 26:12).

It is necessary by all means to try to keep one’s spiritual peace, and not to become provoked by insults from others. To do this, it is necessary always to restrain oneself from anger, and by careful watch to guard the mind and heart from unclean waverings.

Insults from others must be borne without disturbance; one must train oneself to be of such a nature, that one can react to insults as if they did not refer to oneself. Such an exercise can bring serenity to our heart and make it a dwelling of God Himself.

We see an example of such a lack of malice in the life of St. Gregory the Miracle-Worker. A certain immoral woman demanded payment from him, purportedly for a sin committed with her. He, not in the least angry with her, humbly said to one of his friends: pay her the price which she demands, quickly. The woman became possessed as soon as she accepted the unrighteous payment. The bishop then prayed and exorcised the evil spirit from her.

If it is impossible not to become indignant, then at least restrain your tongue according to the words of the Psalmist: “I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (Ps. 77:4).

In this instance we can take as examples for ourselves St. Spyridon of Tremifunt and St. Ephraim the Syrian. The first bore an insult when he entered the palace by the demand of the Greek emperor: one of the servants present in the emperor’s chamber, taking him for a beggar, laughed at him, did not allow him to enter the chamber and even struck him on the cheek. St. Spyridon, being without malice, turned the other cheek to him, according the word of the Lord (see Mt. 5:39). The Blessed Ephraim, living in the desert, was once deprived of food in the following fashion. His pupil, carrying the food, accidentally broke the vessel on the way. Blessed Ephraim, seeing the pupil downcast, said to him: “Do not grieve, brother. If the food did not want to come to us, then we will go to it.” And so the monk went, sat next to the broken vessel, and, gathering the food together, ate it. He was thus without malice!

In order to keep spiritual peace, it is necessary to chase dejection away from oneself, and to try to have a joyful spirit, according to the words of the most wise Sirach: “Sorrow has killed many, but there is no good in it” (Sir. 30:25).

In order to keep spiritual peace it is also necessary to avoid judging others in any way. Condescension towards your neighbor and silence protect spiritual peace. When a person is in such an state, then he receives Godly revelations.

In order not to lapse into judgment of others, it is necessary to be mindful of oneself, to refuse to receive any bad information from anyone and to be as if dead to others.

For the protection of spiritual peace it is necessary to enter into oneself more often and ask: Where am I? In addition, it is necessary to watch that the physical senses, especially sight, serve the inner person, not diverting the soul with mortal items, because the gifts of grace are received only by those who have inner workings and keep watch over their souls.

Feats

Blessed Seraphim told those followers who strove to take excessive feats upon themselves that not complaining and humbly bearing insults are our “verigi” and our hair shirt. (The word verigi in Russian means iron chains and various weights. A hair shirt is clothing made of thick, very coarse wool; some ascetics wore these things to burden their body.)

It is not necessary to undertake feats beyond one’s strength. Instead, one must try to keep our friend — our body — right and capable of performing virtues. One must follow the middle route, turning neither to the right hand nor the left (Prov. 4:27), giving the spirit the spiritual, and the body the physical things necessary for maintaining temporal life. One should also not refuse that which society legally demands, according to the words of the Gospel: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21).

One should condescend to one’s soul in its infirmities and imperfections, endure one’s deficiencies as we bear the failings of others, not become lazy, and continually urge oneself to be better.

If you have eaten too much food or done anything else related to human weakness, do not be upset. Do not add injury to injury, but, urging yourself to correction, courageously try to keep spiritual peace according to the words of the Apostle: “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth” (Rom. 14:22). This same meaning is contained in the words of the Saviour: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3).

Any success in any area we must assign to the Lord and say with the prophet: “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory” (Ps. 115:1).


Purity of Heart

We must continually protect our heart from unclean thoughts and impressions, according to the words of the author of the book of Proverbs: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

Purity is born within the heart from extended safekeeping of it, to which the vision of the Lord has access, according to the assurance of eternal Truth: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8).

We should not reveal unnecessarily what is best in the heart, for only then does that which has been accumulated remain in safety from enemies visible and invisible, when it is kept as a treasure in the innermost heart. Do not open the secrets of your heart to everyone.

Identifying Movements of the Heart

When a person accepts anything Godly, then he rejoices in his heart, but when he has accepted anything devilish, then he becomes tormented.

Having accepted anything Godly, the heart of a Christian does not demand outside persuasion that it is from the Lord, but becomes convinced through the act itself that this acceptance is something heavenly, because he feels the spiritual fruits in himself: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23). But if the devil were to transform himself even into an angel of light (see 2 Cor. 11:14), or presented thoughts of the most worthy appearance, the heart still would feel some sort of doubts, trouble in its thoughts and disturbance of feelings.

The devil is like a lion, hiding in ambush (Ps. 9:29). He secretly sets out nets of unclean and unholy thoughts. So, it is necessary to break them off as soon as we notice them, by means of pious reflection and prayer.

During the singing of psalms, feats and great vigilance are demanded for our mind to be in conformity with our heart and lips; for otherwise stench is added to the incense in our prayers. For the Lord disdains a heart with unclean thoughts.

Let us continually, day and night, fall before the face of the goodness of God with tears, that He purify our hearts of any evil thought, so that we might worthily bring Him the gifts of our service. When we do not accept the evil thoughts put in us by the devil, we perform a good deed.

The unclean spirit has a strong influence only on the passionate; but those purified of passions he touches only indirectly and externally. A person in his youth cannot avoid being disturbed by physical thoughts. But he must pray to the Lord God, that the spark of depraved passions dies out at the very beginning. Then the flame within him will not become more intense.

Excessive Care about Worldly Matters

Excessive care about worldly matters is characteristic of an unbelieving and fainthearted person, and woe to us, if, in taking care of ourselves, we do not use as our foundation our faith in God, who cares for us! If we do not attribute visible blessings to Him, which we use in this life, then how can we expect those blessings from Him which are promised in the future? We will not be of such little faith. By the words of our Saviour, it is better first to seek the Kingdom of God, for the rest shall be added unto us (see Mt. 6:33).

Sorrow

When the evil spirit of sorrow seizes the soul, then, by filling it with bitterness and unpleasantness, it does not allow it to pray with necessary diligence; it disrupts the attention necessary for reading spiritual writings, deprives it of humility and good nature in the treatment of others and breeds aversion to any discussion. For the sorrowful soul, by becoming as if insane and frenzied, can neither accept kind advice calmly, nor answer posed questions meekly. It runs from people as if from the perpetrators of its embarrassment, not understanding that the reason for its illness — is within it. Sorrow is the worm of the heart, gnawing at the mother that bore it.

He who has conquered passions has also defeated sorrow. But one overcome by passions will not avoid the shackles of sorrow. As an ill person can be identified by the color of his face, so is one overcome by passions distinguished by sorrow.

It is impossible for one who loves the world not to feel sorrow. But he who despises the world is always cheerful. As fire purifies gold, so sorrow in God — penitence — purifies the sinful heart.

The Active and the Contemplative Life

A person consists of a soul and body, and therefore his life’s path should consist of both physical and spiritual activities — of deeds and contemplation.

The path of an active life consists of fasting, abstinence, vigilance, kneeling, prayer and other physical feats, composing the strait and sorrowful path which, by the word of God, leads to eternal life (Mt. 7:14).

The contemplative life consists in the mind aspiring to the Lord God, in awareness of the heart, focused prayer and in the contemplation of spiritual matters through such exercises.

Anyone desiring to lead a spiritual way of life must begin with the active life, and only later set about the contemplative, for without an active life it is impossible to lead a contemplative one.

An active life serves to purify us of sinful passions and raises us to the level of functioning perfection; at the same time it clears the way to a contemplative life. For only those cleansed of passions and the perfect can set out on that other life, as can be seen from the words of the Holy Scriptures: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8), and from the words of Gregory the Theologian: “Only those who are perfect by their experience can without danger proceed to contemplation.”

If it is impossible to find a mentor who is able to direct us on the path to a contemplative life, then in that instance we must be guided by the Holy Scriptures, for the Lord Himself commands us to learn from it, saying: “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life” (John 5:39). One should not abandon the active life even when a person has so excelled in it that he has reached the contemplative, for the active life assists the contemplative and uplifts it.

The Light of Christ

In order to accept and perceive the light of Christ in one’s heart, it is necessary to divert oneself from the external as much as possible. First, by cleansing the soul with penitence and good deeds with true faith in the Crucified; then, by closing the physical eyes, it is necessary to immerse the mind in the heart and appeal to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ continually. Then, by measure of our zealousness and fervor of spirit for the Beloved (Lk. 3:22), a person with the calling of this name finds delight, which arouses a thirst toward greater enlightenment.

When a person internally contemplates the eternal light, his mind becomes clean and free of any sensory notions. Then, by being completely immersed in the contemplation of uncreated beauty, he forgets everything sensory, does not want to see even himself, but desires to hide in the heart of the earth, if only not to be deprived of this true good — God.

Acquiring the Holy Spirit

(from the Saint’s Conversation with Motovilov)

The true goal of our Christian life consists of acquiring God’s Holy Spirit. Fasting and vigil, prayer, mercy, and every other good deed performed for Christ — are means for acquiring the Holy Spirit of God. Only deeds performed for Christ give us the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Some say that the foolish virgins lacking enough oil in their lamps is meant to be understood as a lack of good deeds (see Mt. 25:1-12). Such an understanding is not completely correct. How could there have been a lack of good deeds when they, though foolish, are still called virgins? For virginity is the highest virtue, as a state equal to the angels, and could by itself serve in place of all other virtues. I, the wretched, think that they did not have enough of the grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God. These virgins, because of their spiritual injudiciousness, supposed in performing good deeds that it is only necessary to do good works to be a Christian: “We performed a good deed and thus did God’s will.” Whether or not they had received the grace of the Holy Spirit, whether they had attained it, they did not even bother to find out … But, this acquiring of the Holy Spirit is in fact that oil which the foolish virgins lacked. They are called foolish because they forgot about the essential fruit of virtue — the grace of the Holy Spirit — without which there is no salvation for anyone and cannot be. For “through the Holy Spirit every soul is quickened, and through its purification, it is exalted and illumined by the Triune Unity in a Holy mystery.” The Holy Spirit Himself settles in our souls, and this occupation of our souls by Him, the All-Ruling, and this coexistence of our spirit with His One Trinity, is granted only through the diligent acquiring, on our part, of the Holy Spirit, which prepares, in our soul and body, the throne for the coexistence of God the All-Creator with our spirit, by the immutable word of God: “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Lev. 26:12).

This is the very oil in the lamps of the wise virgins, which burned brightly and steadily; the virgins with these burning lamps could await the Groom coming at midnight, and enter the chamber of joy with him. The foolish ones, seeing their lamps going out, though they went to the market to buy oil, did not manage to return in time, for the doors were already locked. The market is our life; the doors of the bridal chamber — locked and not permitting entrance to the Groom — human death, the virgins wise and foolish, Christian souls; the oil, not deeds, but the grace of the All Holy Spirit of God received through them, transforming from decay to incorruption, from emotional death into spiritual life, from darkness to light, from the manger of our existence, where our passions are tied like beasts and animals, into a church of God, into the all-lighted chamber of eternal joy in Jesus Christ.

Source: http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/seraphim_e.htm

November 30, 2007

Letters of St Ambrose of Optina

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Letters of St Ambrose

Saint Ambrosius of Optina

Saint Ambrosius of Optina

From letters of St Ambrose of Optina to different persons, translation from Russian (Prepodobnyj Amvrosiy Optinskiy. Umudryaysya is Smiryaysia. Pisma o dukhovnoy zhizni. M.: Sretenskiy monastery publ. house, 2006). More on Saint Ambrose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Ambrose_of_Optina

“I can see from your letters, that you are getting suspectful, saying that no one can convince you. This is not good. After all you will say: and it is not needed that soomeone would reconvince me. This means that you are very much sure in infallability of your views and conclusions. And this is not good trait, this is sign of big pride. You always ask that God would grant you humility. But Lord does not give it out for free. Lord is ready to help man in acquiring humility as in all good but it is needed that man himself took care for himself. Holy Fathers say: “give blood and receive spirit”. This means work hard til shedding of blood and you will receive spiritual gift. But you are looking for spiritual gifts and ask for that; but to shed blood you regret, that is you want that nobody would touch you, not worry you. And in peaceful life how is it possible to acquire humility? Since humility consists in that when human sees himself worst of all, not only of people, but of mute animals, and even the spirits of evil themselves. And so when people disturb you, you see, that you can not stand this, and you get angry at people, so after all you will view yourself as bad. Or for example: to judge, to suspect others, again after all you will consider yourself as bad. And if you will regret about your badness and wrongness and repremand yourself in uncorrectness, then only you are on the path of humility. One thing seems here not good: what is painful and troubleful is unpleasant. This is true, but it is useful for the soul. And I will say you, waht seems to us: and for soul it is useless. Everything this happens to you eacuse you do not understand spiritual life. But God called the way to Heavenly Kingdom the narrow way. And if none will disturb you and you would be in peace, how would you would be able to get conscious of your shortcomings? You wuld not be able to consider yourself wrong, but sooner you would consider yourself as righteous and perhaps, you would come to the point of going out of your mind, as there were many similar cases even on our eyes. You are sad after you noticed that all try to humiliate you. If they try to humiliate you they want to humble you and you yourself are praying to God for humility. Why then do you get sad at people? You complain about unjustice of people that surround you in relation to you. But if you aiming at to be in Kingdom with Christ Lord, look at Him, how he dealed with enemies surrounded Him: Judas, Annah, Caiaphas, bookers and pharisees, that demanded His death. It seems He did not complain to anyone that His enemies dela with Him unjustly, but in all the horrible sorrows that he received from His enemies, He saw only the will of His Heavenly Father, which He determined Himself to follow and followed until His last breath, despite the fact that those who were the instruments of fulfilling Father´s will were the most iniquitous people. He saw, that they acted blind, in ignorance, and that is why He did not hate them but prayed: Father, forgive them: because they do not know waht they do”.

Do not step in consideration of deeds of people, do not judge, do not say: why is it so, why this? Better say yourself: “What is my business to them? I will not answer for them at the Frightening Judgement of God”. Detract your thought as much as you can from judgements of human deeds, but pray with heart to Lord so that He Himself help you in that; because without God´s help we can not do anything good, as Lord Himself said: Without Me you can not do anything (John 15:5). Stay away from suspectfullness as from fire, because the enemy of human race catches by this humans in his net, that tries to present everything in perverted view: white as black and black as white, same way he dealt with our protofathers Adam and Eve in paradise.”

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