“The Purpose of Prayer Is to Learn to Humbly Surrender Oneself to the Will of God.” Instructions of Elder John (Krestiankin)

God and Man 

The world is ruled only by the Providence of God, and this is where lies a believer’s salvation and his power to endure earthly sorrows.

There are no coincidences in life and there cannot be any. Every circumstance has a higher spiritual meaning and is given by God for the fulfilment of the eternal goal of making Himself known. Despite the outwardly hostile circumstances, we can and we should remain faithful to Holy Orthodoxy as to our highest goal

All our salvation is in the Lord, and it comes through a lively trusting attitude towards the living God rather than reading out lengthy prayer rules.

Good and Evil. Freedom of Choice 

God has no predestination for man, who is certainly a co-creator of his own life, together with the Lord. Looking at our lives, the Lord decides whether it is beneficial for us to go on living. He sees if we are spending our days doing good deeds and if there is still hope for our repentance. There is no arbitrariness in life. It is the state of our soul that affects the timing of our earthly life.

Sin and Repentance

The development of sin and the distortion of life occurs gradually: it begins with darkening of the mind followed by weakening of the will. The rolling snowball of sin then continues to grow incrementally until it crushes you. To keep our mind bright, we must read the Holy Gospel daily and align our lives with the light of the Gospel truths.  The weakening of the will is followed by a distortion of conscience, when we see everything in distorted view. Then comes the corruption of the body.

Everything is possible for God. He has the power to heal the leper and to bring the repentant thief to paradise. In a similar way He heals our lepra, calling us to salvation and leading us into the holy saving ark of His church with the only condition that we have living faith in the living and almighty God and true recognition of our own fall, vital for our repentance.   God is strong and mighty. He will cleanse the leper. But it takes work and strong patience.

Spiritual Life and Prayer

Pray with short prayers more often: Bless o Lord!,Help o Lord!” learning to do everything in life with God’s blessing and with God’s help. Also, take this prayer to heart: Lord! You know everything; do to me as you please. Amen”.

The purpose of prayer is not to exhaust ourselves, but to learn to humbly surrender ourselves to the will of God and to patiently bear everything that the Lord allows to happen.

Church and the World

Priesthood is voluntary martyrdom.

Love for Neighbor and Condemnation

Life itself is the best teacher. The most important and valuable art is to learn to live in peace and love with everyone.

Love for humanity is verbal fornication; love for a particular person, that God puts on our life’s path, is a practical matter that requires work, effort and struggle with oneself and one’s laziness.

Do not look for support in people, but in God, and the Lord will send you friends who are faithful in spirit.

Friendship, Love, Family

Be friends without crossing the red lines. You can hardly expect prosperity if you set sin as the foundation for your family.

Learn to protect your family from divisions, keeping it together with love, sympathy and understanding…

… a mother’s prayer for children is help that remains for life.

It would be easier if children were not left to themselves in their aspirations. There is nothing wrong with watching TV or listening to music as long as everything is in its place, and nothing possesses us. Today material things are beginning to possess the souls of people. The enemy of the human race uses this tinsel to capture souls. Do not leave your children and their upbringing to TV and the street. This is a sin, and a grave one. Pray and try to influence their choices in life as much as you can. Of course, not by violence, but by admonition and awareness of the balefulness of the modern consciousness imposed from outside.

They are taught about everything, except about Him in whom lies the power of life. They don’t know God. And so the Lord allows the young generation to encounter the violence of the evil dark force, and even then only a few begin to seek salvation in God. Pray with hope and living faith, but surrender yourself and your children to the will of God.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
Source: https://foma.ru/arhimandrit-ioann-krestyankin-aforizmyi.html

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