Spiritual Father’s Advice: “When You Can’t Any Longer, Go Drink Some Tea”

Fr. Andrew Lemeshonok

I remember being asked, “There are certain times in my life when I feel depressed, when it’s hard for me to pray, when my mind wanders around. What would you recommend doing in those moments? How do I deal with those emotional states?”

Everyone has moments when life becomes too hard to tolerate… I have heard about and used the following method: just drink some tea and eat something. The pain will become less excruciating. Or have some sleep. I’m not talking of the cases when you simply have to overcome yourself and not pay attention to your ego. There are moments in your life when you’re really on the edge, when you’re so stressed out… That was what Father Sophrony (Sakharov) told a hierodeacon from Mt. Athos in response to a similar question: “Stand on the edge but when you can’t any longer, go drink some tea.” A person needs some relief. If you bend something over all the time, you can break it. That’s why you need reckoning. If you don’t tie yourself up in this condition and ask for advice, then God through a priest (or if there isn’t any priest around, through some Christian person) will tell you what to do to stop being desperate. “Keep your mind in hell but don’t give up” — that’s the motto of our life.

We constantly live on the edge of life and death. On the one hand, the old self must die. On the other hand, the new self must be born. This process is painful and troublesome sometimes. That is why I wish us all to have enough humility, patience, and, most importantly, trust in God. The Lord never abandons us under any circumstances and in any situation. He is always near. You simply have to keep your eyes and your hearts wide open and pray to God. God will surely answer you. 

December 7, 2018
St. Elisabeth Convent
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