Fr. George Glinski: When everything goes in a sustained way, a person considers himself pretty good. However, when he faces some unexpected circumstances, some hard moral choices, his real personality reveals. All his advantages and disadvantages are not hidden anymore. A person sees who he really is, but not someone he tried to seem in front of others. In fact, a saint is someone who can rise above their circumstances, who didn’t fall to an uncertain world, but who stayed true to their principles, their Christian dignity, decency and faith to God. What is more, it’s someone who could help other people with the example of their own life, strengthening them morally and comforting them in the face of suffering. Everyone of us is able to get closer to this spiritual greatness. To do that one shouldn’t take his faith as something common but personal instead. One should remember it was a real revelation to them in the very beginning of their relationship with God. If we take our faith like that, it will become our comfort, our strength and our foundation on which we will be able to build our life. While the Church will become for us something it really is – the Body of Christ.
Looking ahead towards the future we need to have steady faith. You can’t please God without trusting Him. God wants us to trust Him deeply and believe that He won’t perish His creation, but save it and fill it with His grace. In this bright light of faith there is place not only for us but also for hopes of others.
Very often apocalyptic ideas diminish the sanctity of human life given by God. However, these ideas oppose commandments of love, mercy and compassion, passing into worthless hysteria and blood-thirsty desire of revenge. Even apostle Paul mentioned it: a person ignores this life, considers it as appendix to something that awaits him in the future – as if he hasn’t communicated with God, as if he hasn’t seen and accepted Christ here on earth.
We should remember what awaits us in the future but we shouldn’t be terrified of world events. What we must be terrified of are our sins which prevent us of being with God. We should fight against them. We should remember who we are and who we need to become in the future.
When sea waters rise, fish eats ants, but when it falls ants eat fish. Let us remember that we can’t have any sustained position in life. Only in Christ we find confidence, strength, and hope to partake of His Kingdom of Heaven.
Fr. Valery Zakharov: There are times when something opens up to us. For example, you are reading a prayer and some words touch your heart. Then you don’t just recite prayers but really pray. Prayer is a conversation with God.
Even here in church during the prayer I can’t forget everything that exists, all of my worldly affections and interests in order to devote at least a little part of my time to God. I get distracted and deviate from Him in my thought anyway. But if I really understood that God was right in front of me, would I be able to think of anything else? That means my faith doesn’t correspond not only ideal faith but even simple concepts of attention to Someone you talk to. I’m turning away not from ordinary human, but from God…
One philosopher with a huge lantern were looking for a person in a town. Likewise, we should try to find ourselves in Christ’s light, which enlightens everyone. And after that we must have the courage to say to God: “I’m sorry”.
Passing through our earthly journey we face God. Sometimes we are prepared for this meeting, sometimes it happens unexpectedly. It speaks to our neglect. Because God accompanies us always and everywhere. If a person gets more attentive, he will notice God’s grace in every single place.
It all depends on our spiritual state. We’ve come to church; the Lord get us out of the well like a sheep that fell into it. But our path has just started, and so we must go on.
Fr. Andrew Malakhovsky: A prayer sanctifies everything all around, and that’s how we help people. We have some primary knowledge about God and the way we should live. But to find the strength to live so is extremely hard. To do that we need personal experience of living with God and of fight against a sin. God, help us to acquire our big victory with the help of these small victories. Let us try to fight sins every single day and then the Lord will teach us something. In doing so we will be more or less able to stay in normal Christian image.
Fr. Alexander Pashkovsky: Every day we pray with the prayer given us by the Lord Himself – the Lord’s Prayer. We used to it so much that we forget for what He gave it to us. He calls for us to pray. He says: ask, and whatever you look for, look for it with prayer. We get everything we ask with prayer.
Rush makes our soul much more vulnerable to demons’ influence. Enragement and condemnation provide access to our soul for every sinister force. And vice versa: when we see a person in a peaceful state, we know God is with him. That’s why we shouldn’t rush or, as to say, should rush slowly to not lose control over ourselves.
Fr. Demetrius Basalygo: We can see the real beauty of this life only in Christ. Only with Him we enter in eternal life. But everyone is on the way. According to Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, “To believe in God means to believe in man as well”. And like saints were able to see God’s will for every person, we should learn to do it, too. The Lords says about it so: “He that is not against us is on our part” (Mark 9:40), which means he’s my potential disciple, he’s on his way to Me and you should believe in him just as I do.