The time of the great fast is the time of renewal, purification and, most importantly, the time for preparation for the reception of Divine healing Grace.
But the main thing the Lord tells us is that He is the only gateway to the realm of purity and light. Only by turning to Him, only in prayer, having found the power of His Grace, can we become alive, transformed, become different.
About the Great Lent
The time of Lent is specially given by the Church so that we can gather, concentrate and prepare for the meeting of the Easter days.
A great post should try to catch up, to fill in the gaps in our spiritual life, which has suffered so much from life troubles, absent-mindedness, laziness and other things.
1. Abstention from meat food is compulsory. As for everything else, it should be clarified with the confessor. In addition, it is good to choose some worldly thing and give it up for these days, keeping abstinence until Easter.
2. During the time of fasting, you need to read all four Gospels.
3. It is necessary to refuse all superfluous meetings, affairs - everything, that dispels. Rest, of course, is not canceled, but it needs to choose types that do not violate the peace of the soul (for example, walks, trips outside the city, etc.).
4. Every day we must read the prayer of St. Efrema Sirin, preferably meditatively, i.e. concentrating on words. It is necessary to think over mainly one part (for example, the phrase "Lord, Lord of my belly", the theme: Christ as the alpha and omega of my life, its meaning, love and purpose.) To feel this even for a short moment.
5. In addition to reading the prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian must be dedicated daily to 10 minutes (this is a minimum, but in general, preferably half an hour) - 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening - prayer reflections. The main thing is not to miss a single day during Lent.
It is recommended, during prayer, to choose a comfortable place, a comfortable position of the body, but if this is not possible, it should not be retreated. You can meditate on the move, at work, and in the evening when everyone is asleep, and in the morning - in a word, adjusting to circumstances. It is very important that nothing "pushes", does not care about the urgency to do something, do not oppress too much fatigue. Before the beginning of the prayer reflection, it is necessary to cross himself (if it happens at home) or mentally call on the name of God; to force oneself to renounce cares (this is the most difficult thing), to put oneself in the face of God with an effort of will; realize that, wherever we are, we are always with Him and in front of His face. After this, look at the icon or the cross (if we are not at home, half-closing our eyes and call the image of the cross). It is necessary that the whole body is in a state of rest, breathing was not rapid, there is no need to move (except for the sign of the cross). After that we mentally pronounce the phrase from prayer or the Gospel (it is possible from litany, akathist, liturgy - by choice) and try to keep it in mind for as long as possible, thinking it over, feeling deep in its depth, feeling its many-sided connection with its life. At first it will be difficult. Perhaps, only in the third week will things go better. The main thing - do not back down. And so every day the whole fast, five minutes in the morning and five in the evening. In the extreme case, time can be changed, but it is better to choose the same thing. No need to be surprised and upset, catching yourself in a distraction, in an inability to concentrate: it is useful to consider yourself a disciple of the first-born, for the first time embarking on such reflections. It is good for them to prepare a list of prayer words in advance for a week. It is necessary to try throughout the day in a moment-free time to return mentally to the topic of reflection, as if preparing for a meeting. The main condition for success is the establishment of inner silence; this is the most difficult in our noisy age.
6. After a five-minute reflection, you need to sit or just stand silently and concentrated, as if listening to the silence, and then with this silence in your heart to get down to business, trying to keep her "sound" as long as possible.
7. All Sunday days during Lent they must attend the Liturgy without being late for the service. Before the service during the "hours" it is good to read the prayer:
I believe, O Lord, but You establish my faith.
I hope, Lord,
but thou shalt strengthen my hope.
I have loved thee, O Lord,
but you purify my love
and kindle it.
I lament, O Lord, but Thou,
yes I increase my repentance.
O Lord, thou, O my Creator,
I groan for Thee, I call Thee.
You guide me with your wisdom,
protect and strengthen.
I commend to you, my God, my thoughts,
May they come from You.
Let my works be in your name,
and let my desires be in Thy will.
Light my mind, strengthen the will,
cleanse the body, sanctify the soul.
May I see my transgressions,
I will not be prone to pride,
help me overcome temptation.
I praise You all the days of your life,
which You have given me.
The frequency of communion is established with the confessor, but in advance it is necessary to prepare for a general communion on the Great Thursday, the day of the Last Supper.
8. In the days of fasting, it is especially important to strengthen prayer for others. Not missing a single case when someone is sick, is depressed, is experiencing difficulties, we must immediately pray for him, how much time and energy.
9. It is necessary to make a list of especially revered saints and during the fast to call them more often, as to living ones, as to assistants and friends, to put candles on them, to pray before their icons.
10. We must beware of unevenness: ups and downs. It is from this that peaceful and systematic prayer reflections will be protected. It is necessary to pull yourself back in excesses of spiritual enthusiasm, remembering how often it involves not spirit, but passion. This helps to protect yourself from failures.
Week of fasting
FIRST SEDMITIA (WEEK)
We spend the following cycle of prayer reflections:
1 day. Ecclesiastes Day
Reflection on the futility of the whole earthly: man at the height of glory, achieved much, but will die, like everything, sometimes - harder. Why all this was? Some went through the corpses, others killed their souls, and in the end - nothing. Let's read: "Kaya worldly sweetness ..." (in the service of the funeral service). Honor, love, glory, health - like all this (without spiritual life) is void and empty! Everything falls like a waterfall into death. On all the seal of imperfection. All that we run for, we cling to - smoke and dust. All is nonsense, and nonsense is terrible, sinister (Camus, Kafka).
2 day. "From the depths I cried": PS 130 (129)
How much I served different idols, how many illusions and vanities in my life. How passionately I apply my heart to things I can not hold. I did not realize my ambition, vanity, vanity, and now I see what low motives moved me, how deeply I plunged into the pit. I am powerless to do anything with myself. I'm doomed already in life to be in hell - in hell of unfulfilled desires, in the bondage of the elements of flesh and the sin of pride. I'm a total jerk. And this is not a "humiliation worse than pride", but an honest look at yourself. Remember our dreams, which often speak of wild desires concealed in us, to which we close our eyes. We admit that we can not manage our own elements.
3 day. The Good News
But there is a way out and there is salvation, it is open to me if I once again turn to Christ ... Christ is our Good News, He was born for me so that I could come to life and be healed. He taught me, He revealed God in Himself for me, God the Savior. Only with His help can I get to my feet.
4 day. Healing
Christ gives me healing by His death. His Cross and Blood were for me, for all of us who can not get to the right path, although he sees it. He showed us the Way (Sermon on the Mount), the Truth (God comes to meet us) and Life (life with Him).
5 day. Thanksgiving
I gradually come alive. I endlessly thank Him for giving me my hand. And now there is no end to my gratitude for everything: for life, for salvation, for joy, for trials, for people, for peace, for every little thing - everything is from God. I open the door of the house, expecting that He will come under the roof of my soul ...
6 day. Test of Conscience
But I must prepare my house, examine it, expecting the guest to come. I take the lamp of His commandments in my hands and light up the dark corners. Everywhere, dust, dirt, trash - the more I illuminate, the darker the picture. But I will not despair, I'll begin patient cleaning. I'll check my conscience on the Ten Commandments, on the Sermon on the Mount, consistently and without haste. This is my preparation for confession. There are many people in the church on Sunday, so the confession will be common. It is necessary, therefore, to think about everything in advance, in order to bring only a general repentance in the Church.
7 day. Communion
Day of special Thanksgiving. We offer God a vow to fulfill something in His name, as a token of our gratitude.
Week of the Triumph of Orthodoxy
In addition to general spiritual exercises this week, I undertake to do something for the church (cleaning, singing, candles, spiritual enlightenment, or something else).
The week of St. Gregory Palamas
This week is dedicated to the holy Hesychast (silent). I promise this week not to say a single superfluous word. In Christian families there must be agreement. Who is lonely - let him try to do this as best he can. No conversations, even good ones, not to mention unnecessary. Only that which is necessary in everyday life. It is said that when a minute of silence occurs, the "angel flies". So, our task is not to let him go this week. For some, silence will be difficult, but it is mainly because we are all too talkative. To whom it will be very hard, let him accept it as a cross and penance.
THE FOURTH SEDMITIA
Week of the Cross
Dedicated to meditations on the Cross and the meaning of our crippling. Any burden, if it meets with us a desperate protest, is not a cross. It becomes a cross when we try to carry it with "consent", if not voluntarily.
The week of St. John of the Ladder
On the spiritual ladder, the most dangerous thing is to look around and check whether it has risen far. No "summing up" here is unacceptable. For if it succeeds, then immediately there is complacency, which immediately nullifies all efforts. We must consider ourselves always at the first step: God can at any time move to the tenth. Symptoms of total failure are constantly depressed mood or sharp fluctuations from ecstasies to decay.
The week of St. Mary of Egypt
St. Mary of Egypt shows us an image of repentance. We will try to gather and write repentance for life. We will be strict to ourselves, we will not miss anything, we'll look everywhere. Lazarev Saturday is good to devote to thinking about death.
"Yes, my PRAYER IS MENDED ..." (from sermons)
ON THE DEPRIVATION OF SINS
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!
Here we again sang a beloved hymn that begins with the words: "Repentance is opened by the doors of the Life-Giving", the time of Lent is approaching. As after a long journey, the traveler feels the proximity of the water, feels the freshness of the river, so we are approaching the great cleansing time. And we should meet every post as if it were the last in our life.
But what can a person do? What efforts of will, what efforts can save us from sinfulness? We are no longer children and we understand that they are often useless. We usually return all to the same small, tedious, everyday sins, and yet we are devoured by irritability, despondency, gloom, envy, vanity, bitterness. Who will lead us out of the impasse, pull it out of the swamp, in which our souls are pining and dying? There is no other help or salvation other than the Lord Jesus Christ, except His love - the second love. Because the first created us, the first gave us life and peace; and his second love, seeing that we are not able to take advantage of these gifts, that we all turn good to evil and live in evil, our second love stretches out our hand to us and says: "Get up, sleep, wake up, awake! I, the Lord, have come to you. I died, although immortal, I have all experienced yours, except for sin, to be with you around and cleanse you and quicken you. Here before my eyes is My Cross, on which I accept your sufferings and your sins, that you may be purified by my grace. "
He who believes in Christ is saved, who calls the name of Jesus - he is saved, who is following the Lord - he is saved. But for this we must follow Him, and in order to go, we must see that we are unworthy, that we can not save ourselves - and for this we must understand repentance, that is, to see ourselves truthfully and honestly. Therefore, we pray this prayer - "Open the doors of repentance to me, the Life-Giver" - for we are already accustomed to everything, and the doors of repentance are closed to us. It seems to us that we live normally, like everyone else, sometimes, like the Pharisee of the parable [cf. Lk. 18: 9-14], we are proud of others and we are proud - but how are we proud? And today, through the evangelical parable, the Church calls us: "Stand up like a publican, do not think about your merits, your strength, your virtues, but just stand up like him and repeat:" God, be merciful to me, a sinner. "
From the sermon of "Repentance open my doors, life-giving".
ABOUT JESUS PRAYER
Between the Creator and the creature lies the abyss - as between absolute and conditional; It can not be skipped either logically or by being.
But there is a bridge that will be thrown over this abyss. And this bridge was felt by Paul. Because he saw Christ and joined himself inwardly with Him, he was bound to Him with infinite love, so that he felt that he was carrying the wounds of Christ on himself, that he and He had died with Him on the cross and resurrected Him. He says so: "It's not I who live, but Christ lives in me ... With Him I died and with Him I rise up to life" [cf. Gal. 2: 20; Rome 6, 8]. If you can not merge with God, you can be with the God-man, for He belongs to two worlds simultaneously: ours and the beyond.
And on this is built the whole path of Christian mystics, from Paul to the present day.
The path to the Father is only through the Son.
"I am the door," says Christ [cf. In. 10: 9]. I am the door, the gates to the sky.
Repeating various prayers, Christian ascetics can be likened to the Eastern, Indian, who repeat different mantras. There is a similarity and parallel here. But one of the main prayers of Christian asceticism is called "Jesus Prayer", where the name of the Born, Living on the Earth, the Crucified and Risen is constantly repeated.
And this Christocentricity of the main Christian prayer radically differentiates it from all other meditations and mantras, because there is a meeting here: not just concentration of thought, not just concentration, not just immersion in a certain ocean or abyss-spirituality, but a personal meeting with Jesus Christ, Which stands above the world and in the world.
I recall a poem written in prose by Turgenev, when he stood in a village church and suddenly felt that Christ was standing side by side. Turning, he saw an ordinary man. And then, when he turned away, he felt again that He was here.
It's true, it really is. And the Church of Christ therefore exists and develops, that He stands within it.
From the lecture "Christianity", read 8 September 1990 in the Moscow House of Engineering
FORGIVENESS OF THE MIDDLE
Today we are reminded of the fall of Adam, of our common sinfulness, for Adam is all of us with you. We all disappeared from God, we all went our own ways. We are all in disobedience, in an unauthorized wandering, and we all face the Face of Divine Mercy. No matter how sinful and weak a person is, if he wants to change his life, the Lord will send him strength for this.
Our preparation is in our hands. The Lord Jesus says: "If you want the Heavenly Father to forgive you, then you must forgive those who are guilty before you" [cf. Mt. 6: 14]. In fact, as it is understandable, how simple and logical! Can we say, "Lord, forget, blot out, cross out", when in our hearts is anger sitting, guarded and protected by grudge? Of course not. Therefore today the Church calls us to forgiveness. We can not live with each other without forgiveness, for every person is always to blame for others: the husband before his wife, the children in front of the parents, the parents in front of the children, the neighbors in front of the neighbors. We are people, living people, and if we could not forgive each other, the whole world would turn into hell, the chaos of malice.
And let's start today. Let's remember all the evil that is in our lives, and leave it behind the threshold of Lent. Of course, I know that this is difficult, but this is God's work, it is the call of Christ, for this it is worth sacrificing yourself. "This time is favorable," the Church tells us [cf. Ps 32 (31), 5-6], and we call out the mouth of the Psalmist: "Let's open the door of repentance, the Life-Giver". And teach me to repent, teach me to see your sins, and do not leave me when I see in despair how great is their host, how great is their strength, how invincible is the power of sin. That at the moment when I tell myself that there is no salvation for me, there is no forgiveness for me, there is no healing for me - I found out that it exists. It is and is given to us by the Spirit of Christ, Christ the Savior, invisibly present here, living among us, who came to this world, so that no man should perish, but have eternal life [cf. Ying 3, 15].
From the sermon on the Forgiveness Sunday.
About PRAYER SV. EFREMA SYRINA
Every day of Lent, except Saturday and Sunday, the prayer is read: "Lord and Master of my belly." This prayer is written, according to legend, in the IV century in Syria, an ascetic Mar-Afrem, or, as we used to call it, Ephraim Sirin, a Syrian. He was a monk, poet, theologian, one of the glorious sons of the Syrian Church, who entered the world literature as a famous writer.
The words of the prayer, quite accurately conveyed by the poems of Alexander Sergeevich [Pushkin], are translated in Syriac from the Church Slavonic: "Lord and Master of my belly", that is: Lord of my life, He who gave me life, He Who is center and focus of my life. "Do not give me the spirit of idleness," that is, laziness, which, according to the ancient proverb, is the mother of all vices. An innocent like thing is laziness, but it gives rise to a lot of dark, black.
"Despondency" ... Christianity is a joyful teaching, and one who is dejected, the one who leaves him. The Monk Seraphim of Sarov, the great Russian saint of the early nineteenth century, said: "There is no need for us to lose heart, for Christ saved all."
"Lubovinachalie" means power. Everyone has this; do not think that such things as the cult of personality are only in politics: it can be in the family, and in any small community. Each person bears within himself the grains of these aspirations: to suppress the will of the other, to strangle it, to subdue it.
"Celebration" ... I exclude children: children have the right to talk, but up to 15-16 years. When children talk, they learn to communicate, they exercise their language; but when these "children" are more than twenty, and sometimes - more than forty ... This means: be merciless to your life. Think (let's be honest with ourselves): how much do we have to live all? Very little. Therefore, I repeat, we must value life, love the gift that God has given us, and remember that in eternity we will take away only what we have in our hearts. And idle talk, chatter is a terrible word, it means killing time.
Further in prayer it is said: "The spirit of chastity ... grant patience and love to me, to Your servant." Chastity is the purity of relations to the world and to people, the integrity of the soul, without a duality, without the possession of passions.
"Humility" means the wisdom of the common man. Humility here, in this case - is to know what you're worth "against the backdrop of eternity. Do not inflate yourself, like a frog in the fable of Krylov, - she also burst. Do not inflate, but you need to know your price. The wisdom of modesty is extraordinary, it is beautiful. The wisdom of modesty is not a humiliation more than pride, but it is the soundness of the soul. Here's an example for you. When a person starts imagining something about himself that does not exist in him, a few forward movements - and already megalomania. The megalomania is a pathological state, pride. As soon as someone declares that he is the chairman of the Council of Ministers or Napoleon, he is put in a psychiatric hospital, and the one who does not state this, he is not in the hospital, but in his heart he thinks he is above all.
"Patience and love." What is patience? I formulate briefly so that you will remember. Patience is not a state of livestock that tolerates everything. It is not humiliation of a person - not at all. This is not a compromise with evil - in any case. Patience is the ability to maintain the equanimity of the spirit in those circumstances that prevent this equanimity. Patience is the ability to go to the goal when there are various obstacles on the way. Patience is the ability to maintain a joyful spirit when there is too much sadness. Patience is victory and overcoming, patience is a form of courage - that's what real patience is.
And finally, "love." Love is the highest happiness of a person, it is the ability of our soul to be open, immanent, as philosophers say, internally open to another person. When you go to the subway on an escalator, check yourself whether you are capable of love or not. When you look at those who are traveling on the other side, and you are disgusted to look at these faces - then all the pores of your soul are clogged and the feeling of love in you is in an embryonic state.
But the power of Christ's grace is capable of rebuilding a person in such a way that he sees people in a completely different way so that his first reaction is benevolence, so that he immediately sees the beautiful - in a beautiful woman or man, inspired - even where others do not notice; so that, seeing the suffering face, he felt compassion that he should be open. Such a person is always happy, because he is in unity with people, he lives with love.
And at the end of the prayer it is said: "She, Lord King (in translation: Yes, my Lord and King), grant me to see my trespasses and not condemn my brother." You understand this. The great healing from condemnation is to be able to criticize oneself. We are often extremely attentive, I would say, observant, and I would also say - psychologically sophisticated, when it comes to the sins of a neighbor, about the sins of another person. Here we show the maximum knowledge of all moral precepts and all subtleties. But we are here in the form of a strict judge, without the right to do so, because what we condemn other people is that we are also to blame.
You ask me: maybe this is reconciliation, a compromise with evil? No way, never. We should always call evil by our name. But to the person who has fallen into this sin, we must feel compassion.
Here is the essence of this prayer, which is read daily by the Great Lent with earthly obeisances.
From the lecture "The Great Lent", read 1 April 1989 in the club "Krasnaya Presnya"
ABOUT THE MORNING PRAYER
In the morning, after finding at least one minute among ordinary, everyday affairs and standing in front of His Face, you will feel how He looks at you lovingly and calls you to work. The blessing of God is with you in labor, every minute of life. The Kingdom of God, which comes in power, is established in the heart, for Christ said: "The kingdom of God is within us - take it, go and drink the living water of the Kingdom of God" [cf. Lk. 17: 21; In. 4: 10-14]. And we stand, like the ancient Israelites, at this spring, and the water seems bitter to us, for we do not have the power of faith that would turn this water from bitter into living. The bitter water of a dreary, monotonous, full of monotonous works of life flows and leaves in the sand, and there is no hope, and there is no glimpse, and there is no salvation - depression, sickness, infirmity, grief, hardness, coldness of heart, meaninglessness of life - merra, the bitter water of our being without the Cross of Christ.
But if we have the Cross and if we have faith, then everything changes, then every moment we are before His Face, and He touches our heart. Only then will prayer begin, silent or verbal, any; she is torn from the heart by thanksgiving, admiration for the love of God, because the Lord is with us. He came to us and filled us with His grace - us, useless, feeble and unworthy, visited.
The living water of the Word of God, the Cross of Christ flows to us, to restore us, to revive us and give us the strength to go further.
From the sermon on the Holy Week.
We call our main service the Eucharist, thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a holy word. And every person with a noble soul can not but feel this. A French writer, an atheist, said shortly before his death: "I have lived a wonderful life, I do not know whom to thank, but I thank from the bottom of my heart."
For us, Christians, this is a thanksgiving to God. This is the most noble, most exalted prayer, when a person is full of high feelings and understands how unjustly he received the amazing gift of life, love, friendship, beauty, work, reason - everything that makes life rich and magnificent. Even (the gift) of trials, even the difficulties that exist in life, because they temper the truly strong soul. Remember, in Pushkin: "So a heavy youth, splitting glass, forges damask?" So, thanksgiving - for everything, and above all - for the fact that the eternal, incomprehensible, immense entered our life.
From the lecture "Temple action as a synthesis of the arts", read 19 December 1989 in the club "Krasnaya Presnya"
ABOUT THE PERSONAL PRAYER
Each of you knows that when we do not have a special need, when everything is quiet, our prayer begins to cool down, it hardly fires, we need to force ourselves to pray. And vice versa: in desperate circumstances, in illnesses, in difficulties, in trials - that's when the thunder struck, the man and cross himself. Hence, it is only our need, as it turns out, that leads to prayer. So, if we had everything safely, if the Lord gave us all the gifts people usually dream of: health, success, well-being in family life, at work - maybe we would not have prayed then? We would, thanking Him coldly, absent-mindedly, quickly forget about it? Yes, it happens, and we all know this from our bitter experience. It happens…
But here in the psalm 26-m, which is often repeated - "Lord enlightenment and my Savior: whom shall I fear?" [Cf. Ps 27 (26), 1] - is said about people who were looking for the Lord Himself, because they already do not need anything on earth. The most important thing is to love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your thoughts, with all your strength. "Seek My Face," says the Lord through the Psalmist [cf. Ps 27 (26), 8]. Hence, "Seek not only My gifts that I give you, but seek Me Himself." Love of Christ is the basis of our spiritual life. If this does not happen, we will be like pagans who come to receive from their gods what they need today.
Our prayer must be cleansed of self-interest. What we ask, as a child asks the mother, is the way to do it, but the child loves his mother. It does not only reach for the hand, which gives a gift or something necessary. The child reaches out to the mother herself, because she loves him and because he has a love for the one who gave birth to him and wore it.
And our prayer should be just like that! Not only does he give the hand of the Lord to see and reach for her, but the Lord Himself is to be seen, who must always be before us, as if crucified before our face.
From the sermon for the week of St. Mary of Egypt.
ABOUT INTERNAL STILL
The second Sunday of Lent the Church dedicates to the memory of St. Gregory Palamas, the patron saint of Christian silent and prayerful people, whom they called in the old days speechless, ascetics. They tried to keep silence in the heart, hiding in remote mansions on Mount Athos, cut off from the whole world by the sea, rocks. In the caves where they lived, many live up to now. Why is it that this saint, the patron of the silent, we glorify in the days of Lent? Because at this time it is important for us to learn and remind ourselves of silence and silence.
What is our life like? It goes on in endless noise and hectic. The whole life of modern man is accompanied by a mass of sounds of the surrounding life. A person, especially living in a city, constantly hears a noise: cars are roaring, crowds are walking ... Doctors say that this is destroying health. But we will talk about something else. This primarily dissipates our spiritual concentration. Many of us, being for a moment in silence, already feel uneasy and uneasy: we have already lost the habit of silence, and together we can not remain silent. And how many superfluous words! .. And all this confusion and vanity, devouring our life, does not allow a person to turn to himself, to remember the most important thing. And this continues until our last gasp ...
Sometimes, when the illness will rigidly stop our running, will be locked to bed and suddenly we will be detached from the general run, we manage to be alone with ourselves. At such moments we begin to think: "And for what did we live? Where did they run, why hurry up? "
The voice of God always sounds in silence. If you want to hear it, try to wrest from the day even a few moments. For this, the Church gives us the rule: to pray for a few minutes, to come to myself and think about what my past day was, what my next day will be like. This is important, so important ...
Who wants to know the will of God, seek silence. Who wants to collect their thoughts and feelings, look for silence, because our thoughts and feelings run up, do not obey us. We live always in distraction, but the true spiritual life of man occurs only in the concentration, inner solitude. It is necessary to gather your thoughts and feelings in a quiet hearth in the depths of your heart, so that there will be a silence in which God utters His word addressed to you. If we do not force, force ourselves to silence, if we remain subject to everyday noise, endless running, then our whole life will pass on the surface, without depth, without spirituality, without a real meeting with the Lord.
This is why today we are reminded of silence, that's why today the Church calls us to fight with idle talk, idle talk, vain chatter, use of the gift of language for evil. "Set, O Jehovah, the keeping of my mouth, and the fence door of my mouth," the Holy Scripture tells us [cf. Ps 141 (140), 3]. This is what we pray for, we ask the Lord, and He expects us to participate, so that we want this, so that we receive the gift of God - silence in the silence of His blessing.
From the sermon for the week of St. Gregory Palamas.
ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
"Arise, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will raise you up" [cf.Ef. 5: 14]. So the Christians sang from the first days of the existence of the Church. This call is addressed to us, too, because our soul is sleeping in a deep, heavy dream: a dream of laziness, stagnation, sin. And the Church tells us: "Let Christ raise you up!" So, do not arise by your strength, but by the power of Christ.
Lent is the time when you need to hear this word, wake up at last. Maybe for a whole year we slept - day after day go so fast and we do not notice the passing time. Why do not we notice? Because we are dormant, we are floating along with the current, because we are weakened. But the Church tells us: "Arise, sleep, and rise from the dead!" And our soul, eaten by sins, dead, must rise again.
It happens, you go on the field, you see - there is a man and waving his hands. You come closer - and this, it turns out, was frightening: he was put in order to drive the birds away from the sowing. The dead thing is a hat, a shirt and a stick. So our soul also seems to be living, and you will look closer - there is no life: no clear thoughts, no living faith, no good feelings - everything is numb, everything is covered with ice. It's wonderful that Lent coincides with the time of spring when, as if dead trees begin to come alive, the land covered with snow is about to open, and the Church's word sounds to us: "Arise, sleep, and rise from the dead, and Christ will raise you up."
And here we learn the most important thing about our faith. I asked one woman: "Are you a believer? Orthodox? "" Yes, "she says," I'm going to remember my dead. " So is this really our faith? Of course, we must remember the deceased. But after all, they are remembered and pagans, and even completely unbelievers. When the Sunday or Saturday comes, often crowds come to the cemetery. But did they all come there to pray? Hence, this is not the main thing in our faith. And what is the main thing? At whom to ask? Who will give us the answer? And the answer is clear, the only one coming from the mouth of Christ, there is no other answer, everything else is a lie, human errors, human traditions. What does the Lord say to us? What is the essence of our faith, which can raise us, awaken and resurrect us?
When a scribe named Nicodemus wanted to know what the essence of the faith of Christ was, he came to the Lord Himself. Nicodemus was embarrassed by his comrades, afraid of human gossip, and therefore came to Him at night and asked: "How can I live?" And the Lord answered him: "To enter the Kingdom of God, one must be born again - born again." Nicodemus said: "How can I be born? I'm an old man. " Then the Lord answered him that it was necessary to be born of water and the Spirit. Water is baptism, entering into the Church, and the Spirit is our faith, which takes the power of the Lord [cf. In. 3: 3-8].
Each of us should pray that the Lord will give us this Spirit to give us this birth. "Whoever is not born again," says the Lord, "he will not enter the Kingdom of God" (cf. In. 3: 3]. If one does not feel His hand on Him, he will remain dead in the temple for the rest of his days and will not hear the voice of God: "Get up, wake up, rise, sleep!" So only our Lord Savior can give us life - by the power of His Spirit . But to whom will He send this power? To those who want, to those who ask, to those who pray, to those who cry. Therefore, the Church calls all of you: "Pray, ask" [cf. Mt. 7: 7; Mk. 11: 24; Lk. 11: 13; In. 15: 7; 1In. 5: 15].
We repeat every day: "Come and settle in us, and cleanse us from all filth." We ask that the Lord come to us, and enter into us, and purify us from evil. This is the life of Christianity, spoken of by the Monk Seraphim: "The purpose of our life is to gain the power of the Spirit of God in our hearts." Are we weak? Yes. Are they bad? Yes. Weak? Yes. Cops, asleep, dead? Yes! But the Lord will come, awaken the sleeper and raise the dead.
From the sermon "Arise, Sleeping ...".
ABOUT THE MIDDLE
Daily prayer for each other should not just be a list of names - we in the church enumerate your names, we do not know who you pray for here. And when you pray for your loved ones, friends, relatives, for those who need it, - pray for real, with the same perseverance with which those relatives or friends of the relaxed sought to enter the house of the Lord [cf. Mk. 2: 3-5; Lk. 5: 18-20].
Only the desire for the Lord, the desire to touch the healer Christ can win. Now the fast, we try to pray more, to abstain more. Small abstinence in food is a tiny, microscopic sacrifice to God. We will try to gather our spirit and bring the Lord a prayer, this time for each other: not about ourselves, not about our health, success, welfare, salvation, but about our sisters and brothers, those who are dear to your heart - about them today, offer the Lord a prayer, as the Gospel teaches us. Pray for them that their way is blessed, that the Lord will support and meet them, and then all of us, as if holding hands with this prayer and love, will rise higher and higher to the Lord. That's the main thing (and everything else will follow), here is the most essential thing in our life. And then Jesus, seeing our faith, will tell us all - and those for whom we prayed, and to us for whom they prayed - will tell us all: "Child, awaken from your sleep and illness, from relaxation, from spiritual paralysis, Arise, your sins are forgiven to you. "
From the sermon for the week of St. Gregory Palamas.
About the Inexperience
The Lord tells us: "It is not enough to say the words" love "," kindness "," benevolence ". Love must be effective, in some way manifest in life. " So the apostle Paul says that the most important thing in our life is faith, moved by love [see. Gal. 5: 6], faith is active, unhurried, not indifferent. Perhaps the priest and the Levite, the clergyman who walked along the road and saw the wounded lying in the parable of the good Samaritan, believed that they believed in God, but they were stale and unmerciful: they looked at the man who called for help, and, not Turning to him, they passed by [cf. Lk. 10: 31-32]. And this indifference the Lord severely condemns. And He blesses the responsiveness of the heart - that is the whole law of the Gospel.
Therefore, we will ask the Lord to give us strength so that He will give us His seal Divine in the heart, so that we will not remain indifferent, like water, like a stone, so that we will be living people who respond to the suffering and the need of those who are surrounds. One more thing. In the parable, people are divided into "black" and "white", and often it happens that in us there lives both "black", and "white", and indifferent, and sympathetic, so sometimes separation and struggle occur in one heart of man. So let this white, light, kind, love principle win in us so that we can hear the voice of our Lord: "Come, blessed are my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" [Mt 25, 34].
From the sermon on the Last Judgment.