A new beginning. Part of 2
(Ending, beginning, see: Good morning, my Christ!)
There is something else that I thought about when reading about the lives of saints. Let's not always indulge in such a feeling, as if we live in a space of routine and habits, and perceive every day as "everyday routine". If you ask someone how things are, they often reply: "Eh ... well, let's just say: everything is in order." This is not a good start to the day. It's not good to start your day with the words: "Here is another exactly same, same as all, day; what was yesterday's, so will today be; every day is the same. "
No, it's a mistake. A Christian should begin his day, opening his soul to Divine surprises. Let's not forget that every day is completely different, it is a white page, on which we will write various letters till evening. Let's not forget that God gives us today the opportunity to do many different things, to experience many different events, much better than before, to correct the mistakes of the past, to repent, do what yesterday did not think, or could not do it, or had time, or did not want to do it in their laziness.
We must know that every day is beautiful, at least; God does not give us it as any routine. God does not give it to us so that we feel burdened every day, but presents it to us in the same freshness with which the universe was created when it gave rise to the first day in the world, which can be said to have been a single blast of life .
God has not bothered to give us days, and He does not treat us with annoyance
God still feels Himself just as when it all began. God has not bothered to give us days, and He does not treat us with vexation. Let us also adjust to this Divine frequency, saying to ourselves: "Maybe some surprise will happen to me in the evening, God's miracle will happen. I do not know what God has reserved for me. Therefore, I do not want to remain indifferent so that my day becomes dreary, but I want my soul to tremble, that my cells and heart are awake without any mother's milk and vitamins, but only by my faith in Christ, waiting for some sign from God ".
You know, the priests' phones are clogged with messages about prayers, problems, illnesses and surveys, and all these are messages from the depths of the heart, when people open their souls by shaking us with what has been said. And somehow one guy sent me such a message on the phone: "Father, good night. Pray that, with the coming of tomorrow, I will even more love Christ. "
What a good message! "Pray that tomorrow, with the coming of a new day, I will even more love Christ." This message means that tomorrow God can grant me the miracle that I experienced or experienced something that I did not feel before. Maybe Divine Communion, which I will take tomorrow at the Divine Liturgy, will be something I've never experienced before in my life. Maybe the next Divine Liturgy will be the most beautiful in my life, will give me more power, and I will perceive the Lord in it in the sense of the soul, i. E. I will feel His grace and presence, His touch in my heart.
But for this to happen, it is necessary that our day begin with that joy and hope, with which the eyes of slaves are turned to the hand of their masters (Ps. 122, 2) , i.e. as slaves look at the hands of their masters: what they hold there, what they will now show or give - so that we also waited, the tea of the coming of the Lord: "God will give me something in this day."
Elder Paisii said something remarkable about this in one of the books compiled by him . He says that one young man went to Patmos on a pilgrimage. He came to the pier in the everyday Piraeus to buy a ticket, like everyone else. It was a normal day, the same as today. The ship turned out to be a cruise. He climbed to the deck, where the passengers endlessly had fun. There was such a place for entertainment on the ship: some young people danced, others chatted cheerfully. The atmosphere was purely mundane and soaked with euphoria. And the guy wanted to get to Patmos to pray to God about what worried him. And then he was called to have fun with them, instead of standing just like that, but he answered that everything was in order and let them not worry about him:
"I want to be in silence," he said, and went into his cabin.
He sat there, saying to himself: "I went here for God's sake, and not having fun and fooling around-as young people say today-I went to pray and experience something more on this pilgrimage."
And then, as soon as they had set sail from Piraeus, he saw Christ, quite Alive!
God granted him this grace because he refused to join the merry people, sacrificed something for Christ's sake, and with a sacred intention went to Patmos. And it was to him the revelation of Christ in the middle of the sea, before coming to Patmos, where the Revelation was to John. He survived the revelation of Christ in his cabin, on the most ordinary ship, where, perhaps, no one before him had ever felt Christ.
This guy refused something, and God gave him much more - His presence. And I ask myself and you: did this guy in the morning when he woke up, or then during the day when he went to Piraeus to buy a ticket, imagine that this day will mark his whole life, that on this day he will see the Living One Christ in some cabin, on some cruise ship on the way to Patmos?
Namely, such a gift was given to him from God on that day. But how could he know about this? And God rewarded him with this. So you also do not know. When you begin to lift a prayer to the Theotokos, when you start a new day, when you go to the confessor to confess, you have to do it all with a sense of novelty, that this is a new beginning, as if everything happens for the first time.
We should look at everything as if it were happening for the first time. You see the person you love, the spouse or the children, do not look at them with such longing, do not say to yourself: "Again the same faces, again the same people." You have not yet fully recognized them, for their soul is an abyss, they have so much good that they will show you such good qualities: character, soul, personality and heart. You have not yet learned everything. Do not look at them with vexation, because if you look at them as a burden, they will also treat you the same way. And then this annoyance will turn into a habit that makes you sad all your life.
My brothers, everything is fine! But how did some see the Mother of God at such moments when they asked for something with pain and tears? How could they imagine that this prayer would mean a feeling for the Theotokos? As in moments of confession, at least once, we experienced a miracle in our heart, some inner change? We did not expect this, did we? It came suddenly.
This is what Saint Isaac Syrin again and again calls "sudden" , i.e. God gives us His gifts "unexpectedly". This is how we need to perceive each day, that today we can experience something unexpected, eager to experience the presence of God in our lives.
God abides over life, interwoven with the events of our lives and enters every day. Try to find Him, try to look for Him in this day, and at some point your sight will meet His gaze. And in this meeting you will say to yourself: "How wonderful life is in the end! How wonderful it is to live in Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus or Ephesus, in this automobile stream ", etc. - when all these seemingly negative phenomena can lead you to the unexpectedness of surprises, which is Christ.
How beautiful is this world, though fallen and mired in corruption, if God himself can descend into this corruption and grant us immortality! And although we live in such a time of transition and in such a polluted place, however, an unblemished God enters and colors everything.
Let us begin our every day, and start each our communication, every contact with people. Let's not see everything in gray and ordinary tones, but notice how good it is. I would like this to turn into a prayer petition and that God will grant it to us. Let's read the lives of saints and see such that we could "grab" ourselves and say: "We must do this every day until it becomes my goal, my aspiration and caring for all day."
Let's succeed in love every day
You ask, what is it? Love people more and more every day of God. To love those around us, our loved ones, and not to worry about whether they are reciprocated by us. Let us prosper in love every day.
If you want to understand if your day has not passed, then ask yourself this question: "Did I learn more today? Did love make a step forward? Did you learn to open up to others, take them into your heart? Do I have less enemies today, can I not, in the evening, thinking about the past day, notice the moments of hatred, revenge, anger, rivalry, antipathy, jealousy? "
How good it is to love every day, because then, no matter what day I die, it will not bother me, because for the love I experience, I will go to the perfect love of God. I will learn to love! Be a man, every day more and more approaching love. In fact, we live to learn to love, to learn to reveal ourselves to God and God's people, to our brothers and families.
Let's get along with our loved ones. Everyday! Yesterday you fell asleep, quarreled and on your nerves - very bad! We must get closer today, we must melt the ice; something must be done to prevent the sunset from catching you in a secret rage. He must find you forgiven and in good relations with all, so that you can, praying, say: "Lord, I love everyone. Hear my humble prayer and grant me Your mercy. "
But, in order for God to pardon you, you must have mercy and love in your heart. And that we are thus every day thrive in love. And we are given to this so many reasons. Again I will say that I said recently: all that we see an obstacle to showing love is our opportunity to love. Your screwed colleague is a very good reason to learn how to love. Yes, it is this nervous person, because after that you know what will happen? You will learn to love and many other nervous people like him.
For example, you have a difficult child - love him, learn to endure, learn to forgive him, stand him, wait, respect, learn to hope and wait for his change. Learn to look at him like that, and your day will be very good. Let your spouse, neighbors, and people near you see this love, and without you claiming it, let it flow out of your behavior.
I will say something else, albeit an ascetic one. And why should we not say this, if we are all called to the feat in this world? Are not we all ascetics when we all fight? We all are fighting - and this means austerity. Ascesis means that I have to repeat certain things, to solidify them myself. Ascesis means that I develop the powers of my soul and nature to an extreme degree, so that I can endure temptations and trials. In order to do this, we do exercises (asceticism); we are engaged in spiritual sport.
Saint Symeon the New Theologian shares one difficult exercise, the main one for monks, but it can be applied to us. So, he says: "Let not a day pass in your life when you do not shed a tear from your eyes" . One tear of repentance. One tear of love. One tear of compassion, one tear of sensitivity. It is necessary to become every day more and more sensitive person, perceiving people's messages, messages about people's pain. To make us more sensitive to the messages that God sends to us, we shed tears as a sign of gratitude or affection for God's gifts, not perceiving anything as a given once and for all.
Every day, God gives us many gifts, to which we get used and tell ourselves that they are so on their own. But this is not so! It's far from obvious that you will find so many gifts in the fridge when you open it. All this is from God. You bought it, paid it, installed it, but if you think about it a little, you'll see that it's all from God. Look at this with gratitude!
Once the behavior of the elder Paisius was almost misinterpreted by one visitor who saw him in such a state of affection. He ate a tomato and cried. Because the old man Paisii ate a tomato with gratitude to God. Do you know what he was thinking at that moment? "Behold, I am in the Holy Mountain of Athos, in such a good place with pure nature and air. I have the caliber in which I live, and my brothers in the world are now among such noise, cars, problems, smog, disease and unrest. "
He felt gratitude to God, and as he ate at that time, he cried for a tomato with a cracker. And when this pilgrim came and saw him, Starets Paisius was ashamed, wiped his eyes and went into the house to tidy himself up, until this emotion comes from gratitude to God.
We do not feel gratitude for anything
And we are used to everything every day. We are not touched by anything. We do not feel gratitude for anything. We do not feel the need to thank God for anything, because we feel that everything passes through our forces, through our muscles, through our bank accounts, through a card that we have and which we are holding in a supermarket, we pay for all the purchases and leave. And we tell ourselves that this is all ours. But all this is from God.
Elder Paisii says that when we become more sensitive in the spiritual life and every day flows out of tears from our eyes, it means that the dawn is coming in our souls. Our soul begins to wake up, and the sun of the Kingdom of God is shown, and you see another life, you see another world, you begin to enter paradise even during this life. This means that your soul has experienced a kind of cracking, and from where the light of God begins to penetrate.
Let's not be insensitive, let's become more and more receptive every day, and if we do not have physical tears, these material ones flowing from the eyes, then let's have at least tears of the soul - these heart, inner and secret tears, which are more reliable, because that others do not see them.
Saint Simeon specially emphasized the theme of tears when approaching the Divine Communion. He says that we never start the Divine Communion if tears do not flow out of our eyes or at least do not flow to this house, during prayer . That we never perceive the Divine Communion as a routine. Elsewhere he explains it in a broader sense that in spiritual life we need to learn to be sensitive people .
Think a little bit, brothers and sisters: most of us sit in the evening and watch news releases in 8: 00, 8: 30 or in 7: 30. Think about how many problems we hear. Our minds are filled with problems. Many of them do not concern us, but many are important to us. Many of them are painful for many people. You hear about some earthquake that happened somewhere, you hear about a family that is suffering, about a child who was killed, about a crime. You hear about all this and, listening, you sit at home and eat yourself something sweet, you have supper, having settled down in an armchair or on a sofa. You just listen. News pass by you, and yet all these are powerful experiences, so amazing that if any saint were near us and listened to all this, he would pray and weep without ceasing. And we listen to all this, and even our heart will not falter, and we remain indifferent. We listen to this and do not have compassion, we listen - and we do not cry about these people.
Elder Paisii heard about the pain of people and turned it into prayer and crying. And I cried for her. Hearing about someone suffering, he cried for him. I prayed at night, but what do we do? As soon as our eyes survive all this, and fingers with such ease switch the buttons of the console? It is worth hearing about some frustrating event, we immediately switch to something funny and funny, and then something else completely different, and finally we go to sleep in our indifference. So another day has passed, just one day without any meaning, without deepening into the events of life, without us appreciating the messages that God sends to us through all this.
What God allows us to learn about what is happening on the other side of the world is not accidental. God allows this so that we feel compassion, and our heart is expanded to contain more people and pray for them. So that we learn to feel ownership.
When I was reading the books of Elder Sofronius of Essex, I was impressed that in the first years of spiritual life his prayer acquired the universal dimension. He says that he prayed for the whole world, and at this time there was a war, I think, a war with the Germans or the Italians. He told me that when he heard some shocking news: that children were being killed, etc., the elder was going through all this. This is what St. Simeon's advice means every day to shed a tear!
 Literally: for the eyes of a slave are in the hand of their lords, for the eyes of a slave are in the hand of their mistress: such are our eyes to the Lord our God,
 See: Elder Paisius of the Holy Trinity. The words. T. 1. M., 203. S. 265.
 See in particular his 42-44, 46, 48-49 ascetic words: "When, according to the action of grace, there are suddenly great thoughts in us ...", "suddenly spiritual knowledge will be found before you, without seeking about it," etc., e.
 See the word 70 prp. Simeon the New Theologian.
 See its 75 word.
 See below in the same 75 word.