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The beginning of eternity: the significance of the Eucharist according to the writings of the three Russian saints

The beginning of eternity: the significance of the Eucharist according to the writings of the three Russian saints

July 6 2018 LJ cover – Начало вечности: значение Евхаристии по сочинениям трех русских святых
Tags: Religion, Christianity

Sometimes, it is very difficult to "isolate" any individual moments from the spiritual heritage of the fathers and pastors of the Church of Christ, because they are a collection of sayings and thoughts. But, nevertheless, on their example of the creations of Russian nineteenth-century saints, we clearly saw that the doctrine of the Eucharist and its meaning in the spiritual life of a Christian is always inextricably linked with the doctrine of Repentance ...


"If Christ is in you through the frequent Communion of the Holy Mysteries, then be all like Christ: gentle, humble, long-suffering, loving, impartial to the earthly, the wise, the wise, obedient, intelligent; keep in mind his Spirit; do not be proud, impatient, partial to the earth, stingy and money-loving. "

Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt

Bishop Arseny (Zhadanovsky) wrote in his memoirs about Father John of Kronstadt: "When the priest came out with the Cup, there was a great confusion in the temple: everyone was striving for a solo; he, however, strictly treated those present. His voice was often heard: "You communed yesterday, today I will not allow it, because you are lazy, you work very little." Or: "Have you confessed? It is necessary before the Sacrament to always purify one's conscience. " Sometimes it happened: seeing an onslaught, and perhaps unworthy, he went to the altar, declaring that he would no longer receive communion. Standing on either side were two nuns who sometimes dared to refute the father's remarks; willingly agreeing with them, Father John said: "Well, then it's another matter" - and lovingly taught the Holy Mysteries to those who wish "[1]. This passage is very revealing, a timid, fearful God attitude to the greatest shrine.

The whole life of Father John was filled with the spirit of Christ. All his sermons and written works were filled with the power of God's grace. He did not search for high-flown expressions, but he always spoke simply and easily, and, most importantly, his preaching reached the very heart of man.

About repentance, Father John wrote that it "must be sincere and completely free, and not forced by time and custom or a person professing. Otherwise it will not be repentance. Repent, it is said, approaching the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 4: 17), approaching, that is itself, it is not necessary to search for it for long, it seeks you, your free disposition, that is: repent yourself with heartbreak. Kreschatusha (it is said about those who were baptized from John), confessing his sins (Matthew 3: 6), that is: they themselves confessed their sins. And since our prayer is primarily a repentance and a petition for the forgiveness of sins, it must also always be sincere and completely free, and not involuntary, forced by custom and habit. Such a prayer should be also when it is thanksgiving and thanksgiving. Gratitude assumes in the soul of the beneficent the fullness of the free, living feeling, freely poured through the mouth: from the excess of the heart the mouth is spoken (Mt. 12: 34). Dedication presupposes the rapture of astonishment in a man contemplating the affairs of infinite goodness, wisdom, the omnipotence of God in the moral and material world, and therefore just as naturally should be a matter completely free and reasonable. In general, prayer should be a free and fully conscious outpouring of the human soul before God. Before the Lord I pour out my soul "[2].

"Trembling attitude to the greatest shrine": St. rights. John of Kronstadt on the Eucharist

If we speak of the signification of the Eucharist in the work of salvation and in spiritual life, then from the numerous literary heritage of Fr. John should especially pay attention to his book "My Life in Christ", which is an extract from the diary of the holy Fr. John. In it, in the form of brief sayings and teachings, all aspects of the true Christian life are covered for both the layman and the shepherd, the minister of the field of Christ. And we will dwell on those places of creation about. John, where he speaks of the Holy Eucharist. Such places are located throughout the entire work, but the author will try to consecrate the main and most vivid of them.

For a better perception it is necessary to consider the attitude of St. John of Kronstadt to the liturgy in general. "The Liturgy is the supper, the feast of the love of God for the human race. Near the Lamb of God, everyone gathers at the disco - living and dead, holy and sinful. The church is triumphant and militant "[3]," wrote Fr. John. Or: "The Divine Liturgy is truly heavenly, on earth, a service in which God Himself is special, closest, closest and most intimate with people, being Himself an invisible Sacrificer bringing and bringing. There is nothing on earth more sacred, higher, majestic, solemn, more alive than the liturgy! The temple at this particular time is the earthly sky, the clergy portray Christ Himself, the Angels, the Cherubim, the Seraphim and the Apostles. Liturgy is a recurring celebration of the salvation of the whole world and of each member individually. Marriage Agnchiy is the marriage of the royal son, on which the bride of the Son of God is every faithful soul, the Enemy is the Holy Spirit. With what prepared, pure, sublime soul it is necessary to always be present at the liturgy, so as not to be among those people who, without the garment of the marriage, and having the desecrated clothing of passions, were bound hand and foot and thrown out of the bridal chamber in darkness of the pitch. And now, unfortunately, many do not consider it necessary to go to the liturgy; others walk only according to one habit, and what they have come to be, these also go away-without exalted thoughts, without a contrite heart, with a restless soul, without determination to correct "[4].

Gratitude assumes in the soul of the beneficent fullness of a free, living feeling freely flowing through the mouth

These words were written by a person who sincerely and faithfully performed the Divine Liturgy. Liturgy is the unity of all believers, through the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, connecting with the Lord and with each other. At the Last Supper, the Savior prayed for the disciples: "Let all be one, like you, Father, in me, and I in You, [so] they will be one in Us," Let the world believe that You sent Me. And the glory that you gave me, I gave to them: that they may be one, as we are one. I am in them, and You in Me; Let them be made together, and let the world know that you sent me and loved them, as you loved me (John 17: 21-23). It is in the Eucharist that this unity takes place: "What greatness of a Christian and especially a Christian priest: he is one with Christ and the Savior God (through the Holy Mysteries)!" [5]. Undoubtedly, he himself is about. John felt this unity, therefore he understood the importance of the priestly ministry as an assimilation to the Lord Himself. Therefore, in the lines of his diary, immediately following the words about the unity of believers, and especially the priests, with Christ through the Eucharist, St. John of Kronstadt wrote a call to the pastors: "Communion of the Holy Mysteries, of the priest, speak in your heart: ripen to me, the Life- to delude me from the jaws of the hellish serpent, to cleanse me from the filth of passions, to pacify my writhing heart, to quicken my mortified soul, to cheer my sad and sad spirit; you will come and nourish me with the sinful languished corner, clothe me, naked of all virtue, strengthen me weak, honor me dishonest, exalt me ​​low, ennoble me of the contemptible, enlighten me of the dark. Every benefaction you grant me: I thank Thee, the Most Merciful! "[6]

The unity of all believers with Christ and with each other also recalls the Symbol of Faith, which is performed immediately before the eucharistic canon. The meaning of the singing of the Symbol of Faith is well explained by Priest Pavel Florensky: "Under the pressure of the rationalistic theologians, we believe usually that the Creed is a theoretical declaration of our dogma which, precisely because, that is, as true, is sung or read behind the Eucharistic canon, about faith. But this opinion is deeply mistaken. The creed developed from a baptismal and mysterious Ternary formula: "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", which underlies all sacred activities, all worship; and therefore the Symbol remains what its primary grain was, that is, it does not have a declarative character in the liturgy - and whoever declares his faith, once the faithful have remained after the catechumens left - and the mysterious, effective - namely, the unity in love and , ontologically, an essentially understood unity of thought - through which it is only possible to know - in order to confess - the Trinity is Uniform and Indivisible "[7].

Liturgy is the most vivid evidence of the unity of Christians, the great Christian forgiveness, brotherly love for each other, so the Savior gives the commandment: So if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave there your gift before the altar, and go first to reconciliation with your brother, and then come and bring your gift. Make peace with your rival sooner, while you are still on the road with him, so that the opponent does not give you to the judge, and the judge would not give you to the servant, and would not throw you into prison; Truly I say to you: you will not get out until you give up to the last cipher (Math 5: 22-26).

The Eucharist magnifies man, connects him with God, and makes the priest a collaborator of Christ Himself, an accomplice in the work of saving people: "I am nothing, but by the grace of the priesthood, through the teaching of the Divine Body and Blood, I become a secondary or tertiary culprit of the healing of diseases; through me the grace of the Spirit revives to the awakening of infants and the aged, performs in the sacrament of the Eucharist the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, connects the faithful with the Divine; through me decides and binds the sins of men, closes and opens the sky, gives soul-saving advice, rules and so on. Oh, how venerable is the priesthood! Brethren, you see, how many blessings the Creator and Savior poured out on you through the priests! "[8]. The Eucharist, the Divine Liturgy, is not only a cleansing and union with the Lord, but also makes other people (priests) helpers in the work of salvation. Therefore, every priest, every shepherd of the Church of Christ, must realize the entire height and sanctity of his ministry.

For example, you can quote from the works of St. John of Chrysostom, namely, from his "Six words on the priesthood," where he tells his friend Vasily: "He himself (the priest) must be so much superior to all in all for whom he prays, as far as the primate should be superior to those under his protection. And when he invokes the Holy Spirit and makes a terrible sacrifice and often touches the common to all the Lord; then, tell me, with whom on the row will we set it? Which one will require purity and piety from him? Think about what should be the hands performing this service, what should be the language that utters the same words, whoso is purer and holier than the soul that accepts such grace of the Spirit? Then both the angels are coming to the priest, and a whole host of heavenly powers cry out, and the place around the altar is filled with them in honor of the Resurrection on it. This is enough to certify the very actions that are being carried out at that time. I once heard such a story from a certain person: a certain presbyter, a marvelous husband and repeatedly seeing revelations, told him that he had once been awarded such a vision, it was during the service that he suddenly saw how much it was possible, many angels dressed in light clothes, who surrounded the altar and drooped with heads, like the soldiers standing in the presence of the king "[9].

These words were written by a person who sincerely and faithfully performed the Divine Liturgy

Not everyone has the right and the opportunity to be the performer of the Holy Liturgy, which is the door to the Upper World, the beginning of eternity is already here, in our temporal being. Therefore, the holy righteous John of Kronstadt is the brightest example of a true shepherd, a true image of Christ, and his literary heritage is of great benefit for understanding and strengthening in the pastoral ministry.

The holy righteous John admonished the pastors: "As a priest, pray especially for the cleansing, enlightenment, sanctification and renewal of the people of God and for your renewal, for although you often drink the Blood of the Covenant new and eat the life-giving Flesh of the Lamb of God, which can soon regenerate and renew you, but But, in your negligence, you hitherto have not been reborn and renewed, being betrayed in the depths of the heart to the same passions that were in you before. Bring to God a fiery prayer for the renewal of yourself and His people - this is the most pleasing sacrifice to God. Bring it with faith, with a strong trust, with unfeigned love: for to Him who came from old and old to make new and pour wine new into old wineskins, the prayer for renewal is incense incense and assistance to the Lord's intentions to revive the human race that has become dilapidated by sin. "[10].

What are these wonderful and profound words: we have all the possibilities for inner spiritual renewal, but we do not strive for this because of our passion and sinfulness. This is only our personal guilt, our personal reluctance to show repentance and change our life, to move from the works of darkness to the works of light . God can not save a person without the person himself, so personal effort, personal ascetic feat, struggle with passions is of great importance: "Defeat the flesh, ie, her passion. With dirt it is necessary to put her and everything carnal, not to worry about her. Lord, your power: help! When everything carnal, sinful is counted for nothing, then the Lord will be everything to us; on the ruins in the heart of earthlyness the Lord will reign "[11].

For comparison, we can take an excerpt from the 16 homily of St. Gregory Palamas, in which he speaks of the Incarnation and the House-building of our salvation: "Although the Lord baptized us through the baptism and through the grace of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Atonement, and a passionate body, and although He cast out the evil chief from the souls of men, yet he allows him to attack from the outside so that a person, renewed, according to the New Testament, ie, The gospel of Christ, living in good deeds and repentance and despising the pleasures of life, enduring the same suffering and tempering in the attacks of the enemy, prepared himself in this age for the incorporation of incorruption and future benefits that will correspond to the future age. Therefore, the faithful should rejoice in hope; and since the life here is over, it is prudent with faith to expect the bliss that future life will contain in itself endlessly. "[12]. The possibility of ascetic accomplishment and perfection is simply necessary for man to prepare himself for the acceptance of the benefits of the next century. In the Eucharist, we can already join this eternal life. Therefore, St. John of Kronstadt assigns the duty of the communicant as follows: "What is your duty, the participant of the Divine Mysteries? You have to philosophize the mountain, there is Christ at the right hand of God (Col. 3: 1-2), and not to philosophize about the earthly, for this Christ is on the earth to speed, and He will lead us to heaven (Akathist to Jesus the Most Sweet, Kontakion 8). In the house of My Father, many are the abodes. I'm going to prepare a place for you (John 14: 2). Our life in heaven is (Phil. 3: 20). Blessed are poor in spirit, for they are the Kingdom of Heaven. Even if your truth is not greater than the scribe and the Pharisee, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5: 3, 20). Leave the children to come to Me, these are the kingdom of God (Luke 18: 16). Do you see what is the last goal for which Christ came down from heaven to earth, for which He teaches us His Divine Mysteries - Body and Blood? This goal is to give us the Kingdom of Heaven. Strive for it »[13]. In another place, the holy righteous John writes: "The Communion of the Divine Mysteries! Know how you sincerely adhere to the Lord, if you are properly partaking of the sacrament. What boldness do you have for the Lord and the Theotokos! What kind of cleanliness must have!

The unity of all believers with Christ and with each other also recalls the Symbol of Faith, which is performed immediately before the eucharistic canon

What meekness, humility, meekness! What an impartiality to earthly things! What a burning desire of heavenly, pure, eternal pleasures! "[14]. He who has received the Holy Communion has his own Savior and Creator within himself, Christ dwells within man and creates his abode in him. There is a transfiguration of a person from within, a person is shone with the light of Divine grace, the light of the Favorsky Transfiguration.

The holy righteous John of Kronstadt testifies to the power of the Divine Eucharist: "Great is your love, Lord: you have exhausted yourself for the love of me. I look at the cross and marvel at Your love for me and for the world, for the cross is Your love's imprint of love to us, Greaterly sowing no one's love to anyone, but who will lay down his life for his friends (John 15: 13). Your life-giving secrets, Lord, serve as a constant loud proof of Yours to us, sinners, of love, for this divine Body was for me, for all of us we break; this Blood for me, for all of us has poured out, Lord! I will glorify the wonders of the Holy Mysteries of Yours over your faithful, whom I taught them; I honor the innumerable healings that I have witnessed; I praise their action in me, the saving; I praise your mercy to me, in them and through them to me is manifested, your power is life-giving, in them acting. Lord! For Thy great love for me, let me love You with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself, to love my enemies, not only those who love me "[15].

We see that a true Christian, no doubt the holy righteous John of Kronstadt, can feel in himself the saving power of the Divine Mysteries, feel in himself the rebirth that has begun, the grace of the Spirit present in the heart that fills the whole human being.

The Monk John of Damascus wrote in the Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith: "Therefore, for those who receive (Communion) with faith, it is worthy to serve for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life and for the observance of the soul and body; but for those who receive communion with unbelief it is unworthy - in punishment and punishment, just as the death of the Lord for believers has become a life and incorruption for enjoying eternal bliss; for the unbelievers and the Lord's murderers (she served) to the punishment and the eternal punishment "[16]. This is what the holy righteous John of Kronstadt says: "I thank You, Lord, for granting me a new life every time, with tears of repentance and thanksgiving, I perform the Divine Liturgy and take communion with the pure and life-giving Mysteries of Thine. To Your Holy Mysteries, I owe it hitherto the continuation of my being, the integrity of my ways and the good glory in Your people. Let thy name be glorified greater and greater in me and in all thy people, and thy holy name is called upon them, and in all thy world; Thy Kingdom come, the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, to all our hearts, as You said: I will dwell in them and walk in them, and will be their Father; and they will be to Me as sons and daughters (cf. 2 Corinth 6: 16, 18; Lev 26: 12; Jeremiah 3: 19), and may your Holy will be wise, wise, all-perfect, all-perfect, all-blessed, as in heaven and earth in all your people, and in I am a sinner, because our own will is mistaken, shortsighted, sinful, disastrous, dislike, evil, envious, proud, lazy, luxuriously loving, loving, loving "[17].

The Eucharist is the maintenance of our strengths, both spiritual and physical, for "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (see 8: 3; 4: 4), she is the path leading us to the Savior, The Eucharist is Christ Himself, for He Himself said: Verily, verily, I say to you: if you do not eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, then you will not have life in you (John 6: 53).


Now we turn to the consideration of the spiritual heritage of one of the greatest ascetics of the XIX century - the Reverend Ambrose (Grenkov, 1812-1891). No, probably in Russia there is such an Orthodox person who would not have known about Optina desert. This monastery was famous for its great elders Makarii, Lion, Nikon, Ambrose and many others, and in this monastery 14 elders glorified. Despite all the adversities and vicissitudes that hit the monastery in the years of Soviet power, the Optina desert was reborn, having rightfully taken its place among the largest and most famous monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is also known that in 1993 in the monastery were killed two monks, Trofim and Ferapont, and Hieromonk Vasily, whose veneration is also common among Orthodox believers.

Our goal is to consider those moments in the legacy of the Optina ascetics (on the example of St. Ambrose, the saint, most revered by the author), which deal with the question of the meaning of the Eucharist in the spiritual life of every Christian. Here we can briefly discuss the question of what eldership is, since the Optina saints are almost always referred to as elders. At first glance it may seem that the elder is an ordinary leader or an experienced person, to whom younger people come for advice or any help. In principle, this constitutes a certain aspect of the eldership - the help and guidance of younger and inexperienced monks or novices. In this sense, the oldest monk of the monastery, or even the hegumen, can be called an elder. But there is one more important and, apparently, the most important aspect of the eldership - the elder must have a deep spiritual experience. A person can not become a teacher for others until he himself attains Divine wisdom and attains the grace of the Holy Spirit: "Abba Anthony said:" The ancient fathers went out into the wilderness and were healed and became doctors themselves. , healed others, and we just want to get out of the world, we want to heal others before we are healed, but the disease returns to us again, and the latter becomes worse than the first. And then we hear from the Lord: Heal, heal itself. "[18]. These are the words of the Monk Anthony the Great, one of the greatest Christian ascetics. The Elder is not just a leader, but a person who is deeply spiritual, who has attained the grace of God, one who can show man the way to eternal life. Thus, the elder becomes an accomplice in the work of saving his novice. Also, from all the patristic ascetic writings, we know that novitiate is first and foremost the cutting off of one's will, complete obedience to the confessor and all his advice. And to give up one's will, to overcome one's selfish self, its "ego" is one of the most difficult tasks of the Christian deed, but without this it is unthinkable to save a person. Therefore, an old man and confessor is needed, helping the person to break himself, to correct his life, indicating the correct way of fulfilling the Gospel Commandments.

The basis of the spiritual life of the Christian: The Eucharist in letters and works of St. Ambrose of Optina

Without dwelling on a detailed examination of the teachings of St. Ambrose on the spiritual life, we will touch only on the "eucharistic" aspects. Participation in church ordinances is the basis of the spiritual life of a Christian. A special role in his teachings, the Monk Ambrose, assigned to repentance and the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Repentance, as we have already seen, is a preparatory act (if such terms are applicable here) to the Acceptance of the Holy Gifts. The Monk Ambrose denounced some Christians in insincere repentance, which is not spiritual healing, but a sin: "There are also such Christians who bring repentance, but not all express themselves in confession, and some hide their sins and conceal their shame. Those, according to the apostolic word, are unworthy Communion of the Holy Mysteries, and for the unworthy Communion are subjected to various infirmities and diseases, and not few and die ... "[19].

The Eucharist magnifies man, unites him with God, and makes the priest a co-worker of Christ Himself

Repentance of the Monk Ambrose compares with humility: "The main force of repentance consists in humility, which, like every virtue, has its own degrees. Blessed is he who attains at least one of the degrees of trebled humility, which blames himself in any unpleasant and sorrowful case, that it was not able to do, as it should, and therefore always remains more calm. Imaginary rightness fills the soul with embarrassment, very harmful in the path of piety "[20]. Humility is one of the main Christian virtues, true humility and is the complete rejection of one's will, submission to the confessor, the fulfillment of the commandments of God. It is possible to make such a comparison: the Monk Ambrose calls humility the main force of repentance, that is, the realization of his infirmity, sinfulness before God, but also this is humility before His majesty, humility before the Holy Mysteries, which we are awarded, despite our sinfulness, all this God gives us in His great humanity and humility. A repentant person, as well as having no humility, should not partake of Communion, so as not to sin against the Lord, that Communion should not be harmful to such a person. Therefore, first you must purify yourself by repentance.

Reverend Ambrose, like George the Recluse, reads soul-searching on the eve of the Communion: "Before the Sacrament read St. Ephraim the Syrian about repentance" [21] and "read more books on this day (that is, on the eve of Communion), especially the New Testament, the message to the Ephesians and the Apocalypse "[22].

Particularly heartfelt reasoning is the Monk Ambrose of Communion, when he explains the Psalm 22: "I prepared an ecu before me for a meal, resisting those who were bothering me ... and your cup rejoices as if it were strong. These words directly point to the sacrament of Holy Communion. If we, through faith unconvincingly, partake of the Sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ, then all the intrigues of our spiritual enemies who are clinging to us remain inactive and idle. Unconvincingly we take communion when we embark on the Sacrament of this, first with sincere and humble repentance and confession of our sins and with firm determination not to return to these, and secondly, if we proceed without remembrance, reconciling in the heart with all who have grieved us »[23]. The whole idea of ​​the Monk Ambrosius boils down to the fact that a person, first of all, should properly cleanse himself, so that the body and blood of Christ really heal his sinful wounds so that man can adequately resist temptations. Without this, our salvation is impossible.

The Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt is the brightest example of a true shepherd

Also, the Monk Ambrose teaches us reverently observing the Holy Gifts in oneself: "After the Apostle, we must ask the Lord to keep the Gift with dignity, and that the Lord will give help not to return back, that is, to former sins" [24]. The Reverend's thought is such that it is not enough to only Communicate, but it is also necessary to preserve this Communion (a similar idea we find in the holy righteous John of Kronstadt). Only then will the Holy Gifts be for the remission of sins and eternal life. A person accepts Christ, but will he be able to remain with the Lord to the end, will we be able to overcome ourselves so that, once we renounce sin and vice, we will no longer return to it. With such a thought goes to the Confession and to the Holy Chalice each of us, but because of our weakness we fall again and again, but if we do not show the slightest desire to never go back again, then, once again, you can always remain below . Sin can seize us so much that it will be very difficult to overcome ourselves and repent. But that this does not happen, we must follow the advice of the holy fathers, so the spiritual guidance of such ascetics, as the Monk Ambrose of Optina, can greatly benefit.


Let us now give the instruction of one of the great saints of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Monk Seraphim of Sarov. The Monk Seraphim is now one of the most revered Russian saints, and the Diveevsky Monastery is a pilgrimage place, frequented by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims from all over Russia.

Stringing of the Spirit of God and the Eucharist: the spiritual heritage of St. Seraphim of Sarov

Every Russian Orthodox person knows and remembers (or at least once heard) the words of the Monk Seraphim: "Stretch the Spirit in peace, and thousands around you will be saved." The saint himself became the acquaintance of the Spirit of God. In his conversation with Nikolai Alexandrovich Motovilov (who later wrote it under the title "Conversation about the Purpose of the Christian Life"), he turns to the interlocutor with these words: "So, your love, I did not say a word to you, , as there are people in the fullness of the Spirit of God ... "[25].

God can not save man without the man himself

These words were said after when the Monk Seraphim really showed the action of the Spirit of God in man, and this is how described by NA Motovilov:

"- Still, I do not understand why I can be firmly sure that I'm in the Spirit of God. How can I recognize His true identity?

Father Fr. Seraphim answered:

"I already told you, your Godliness, that it is very simple, and I told you in detail how people are in the Spirit of God and how His appearance in us must be understood ... What is it you still need, Father?"

"I must," I said, "so that I understand this well!"

Then about. Seraphim took me very firmly by the shoulders and said to me:

"We are both now, Father, in the Spirit of God with you! .. Why do not you look at me?"

I answered:

"I can not watch, sir, because your eyes lighten up from your eyes." Your face has become brighter than the sun, and my eyes ache with pain! ..

O. Seraphim said:

"Do not be afraid, your Godliness, and now you yourself are just as bright as I am. You are now in the fullness of the Spirit of God, otherwise you would not be able to see me like that.

And, bowing his head to me, he said softly in my ear:

"But thank the Lord God for His mercy which is ineffable to you." You saw that I had not even crossed myself in my heart, but only in my heart I had prayed to the Lord God and inside of me I said: "Lord, with his clear and bodily eyes you can see this descent of Your Spirit, by which You honor His servants, when you are pleased to appear in the light of the magnificent your glory. " And now, my father, the Lord fulfilled the instantly humble request of the wretched Seraphim ... How not to thank His unspeakable gift to us both!

I looked after these words in his face, and attacked me even more reverential horror. Imagine, in the middle of the sun, in the most brilliant brightness of its midday rays, the face of the person talking to you. You see the movement of his mouth, the changing expression of his eyes, hear his voice, feel that someone is holding you by the shoulders with his hands, but not only you do not see these hands, you do not see either yourself or his figure, but only one light is blinding , stretching far, a few fathoms around, and giving a bright shine to his snow shroud covering the clearing, and snow rump, showering on top of me and the great old man. Is it possible to imagine the situation in which I was then!

- What do you feel now? - Asked about. Seraphim.

- Extremely good! - I said ... »[26].

The Monk Seraphim acquired the Holy Spirit, achieved what is the true goal of Christian life. ON. Motovilov saw during the conversation with the Reverend the divine light that shone on his face, with which the face of Moses beamed when he was in Sinai, saw the light of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the light that is the radiance of the Spirit of God and the evidence of His presence.

In the Eucharist, we can already join this eternal life

On the acquisition of this light ascetics learns Saint. Gregory Palamas: "The God-worshipers are involved in the incomprehensible Spirit, which is replaced by the mind, eyes, ears and thanks to which they see and hear and understand. After all, if all the action of the mind calms down, then how do angels and angels equal to people (Luke 20: 36) see God as not by the power of the Spirit? Their vision is not a sensation, for they perceive light not through sensory organs, and it is not thinking, for they do not find it by reasoning and rational knowledge, but through the abandonment of any mental action; therefore, it is by no means a dreamy image, not a thought, not a representation, and not a conclusion from inference. And the mind does not receive it in a mere apophatic ascension "[27].

At the heart of the acquisition of the divine light, the Monk Seraphim assumes the Holy Communion and the purification of oneself from sins

Every Christian should strive for this, and at the heart of the acquisition of divine light, the Monk Seraphim assumes the Holy Communion and cleansing himself of his sins: "Let us not sin any more, and let us not commit ourselves to great sins, and let us not despair of the fall, if the enemy, having spoiled us with something, plunges into despair. We always need to analyze what kind of sin we drive away the grace of God, that the Holy Spirit has departed from us, and when, having dealt with sins, we attack precisely the very sin that specifically offended the Lord God, the Lord God the Holy Spirit touches our conscience and tells us sacredly : this is the very sin that you insulted the God Almighty! And then we will soon have to resort to the Lord with a contrite heart and humility, and He will forgive us with love for mercy and return us with even greater grace because we did not despair in the merciful forgiveness of God, and through this we defeated the enemy and the murderer of the devil; and the crown of heaven for the victory is honored by the Lord. And the greater the struggle, and even the defeats, and then the victories of the like-through repentance and the perfect cleansing from all filth of the sinful, Pure and Life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, the larger and more numerous and most glorious crowns of heavenly fighters and winners in the life of the future centuries will be honored "[28].

[1] Holy righteous John of Kronstadt in the memoirs of his contemporaries. - Moscow: 1994. - S. 180.

[2] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 1-Minsk, 1991. - S. 255.

[3] Ibid. S. 294.

[4] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 2-Minsk, 1991. - S. 177.

[5] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 1-Minsk, 1991. - S. 356.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Pavel Florensky, Sainted. Theological Works. - No. 17, 1977. - S. 113.

[8] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 2-Minsk, 1991. - S. 21.

[9] John Chrysostom, Holy. On the priesthood. Word VI. // URL: (date of reference: 24.05.2018).

[10] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 2-Minsk, 1991. - S. 26.

[11] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 1. -Minsk, 1991. - S. 361-362.

[12] Gregory Palamas, Sts. The surname XVI. // URL: (circulation date: 24.05.2018).

[13] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 1. -Minsk, 1991. - S. 5-6.

[14] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 2. -Minsk, 1991. - С.58.

[15] Ibid. S. 73-74.

[16] John of Damascus, pr. Exact statement of the Orthodox faith. - Book. 4. Ch. XIII.- M, 2002. - S. 303.

[17] John of Kronstadt, right. My life in Christ: in 2 t. -T. 2-Minsk, 1991. - S. 78.

[18] The Great Paterik or the Great Meeting of the Elders' sayings: A systematic collection: in 4 t. / Per. with the other Greek: A. V. Markov, D. A. Pospelov. - T. 1. - Publishing house of the Russian Desert on Athos of the Panteleimon Monastery of the New Thebaid, 2005. - S. 13.

[19] Collection of letters of the Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose: in 3 parts. - Part II. - M .: Pilgrim, 1995. - S. 46.

[20] Collection of letters of the Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose: in 3 parts. - Part I. - M .: Pilgrim, 1995. - S. 143

[21] Agapit, archm. Biography of the deceased Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose: in 2 parts - C. 2. - S. 71.

[22] Chetverikov S., prot. Description of the life of the blessed memory of the Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose. - Optina Pustyn, 1912. - S. 213.

[23] Collection of letters of the Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose: in 3 parts. - Part I. - M .: Pilgrim, 1995. - S. 26.

[24] Agapit, archm. Biography of the deceased Optina old man Hieroschemonk Ambrose: in 2 parts - C. 2. - S. 70.

[25] The purpose of the Christian life. - Sergiev Posad, 1914. - S. 56.

[26] Ibid. S. 48-49.

[27] Gregory Palamas, Sts. The Triads. - St. Petersburg, 2004. - S. 85-86.

[28] The purpose of the Christian life. - Sergiev Posad, 1914. - S. 54

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