In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!
Today in the Gospel we have heard of the determination with which the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John followed the Lord. As the Gospel says, they immediately as the Lord called them, leaving all, followed the Lord.
We all know that the heart must belong exclusively to the Lord, and everything small and great, should be turned to Him alone, but when we have to get down to business, our determination is sometimes not enough for their fulfillment, it is weakened and the matter remains not fulfilled.
Decisiveness, willingness to do everything that is required for salvation, for the performance of the deed, the commandments in which the will of God is realized, is, in the words of the saints, the real active force for salvation.
A distinctive feature of life outside of God, according to St. Theophan the Recluse, is not always an obvious depravity. Such a life is distinguished by the absence of this inspired, self-sacrificing jealousy, the determination of God-guiding, with a determined aversion from all sinfulness. It is peculiar to them that people do not have a good order of life the main object of care and work, that they, caring about many other things, are completely indifferent to their salvation, do not feel in what danger they are, do not worry about a good life and conduct a cold life faith, although sometimes outwardly serviceable and impeccable. The desire for God, in the fulfillment of His commandments, sometimes does not come first, is not our main business, but some kind of an appendage. It's a matter of us - pleasing ourselves, pleasing people and worldly customs.
The attainment of this determination to live in God and with God, is similar to how when we decide to do something. Usually, after the thought appears to do something, we tend to this thought with desire, remove obstacles and decide. The same and in the determination for the Christian life, it is necessary: to bow to the desire for it, to remove the obstacle inside the formation of determination and to decide to fulfill. Sometimes a good idea comes to change lives, which are only thoughts, although more or less alive: "Do not leave a sin," or: "We must leave."
And then we should become ourselves in the presence of God, reproduce more vividly all that God wants, and, realizing the urgency of this for our salvation, put in our hearts the determination: "From now on I will begin to belong to the Lord with all my heart and work to Him alone with all my forces ". They realized that there is no life, except life in the Lord, and changed their unconventional life. Then our determination will unite with the call of God. They resolved to achieve this, and then, brought this determination to fulfillment, removing their heart from everything that inclined them to sin and all of them betraying God.
Man sometimes breaks his desire to achieve this. A rush, though, means that the soul knows how to choose the best, but does not express everything that is required in this case. You can rush and become - out of the gust nothing will come of it. No, one is not needed here, but a sound consideration of the matter and the formation of determination, firm and unceasing, in the consciousness of all the labor, obstacles, troubles that await ahead, with courageous enthusiasm to stand against them, to the state of life.
St. Theophanes wrote: Whom you ask "Do you want to paradise, to the Kingdom of Heaven?" - the spirit will answer: "I want, I want." But tell him later: "Well, then do this and that" - and his hands dropped. In paradise it would be desirable, and to work for the sake of that not always gets desires and determination.
Therefore, it is necessary not only to desire, but also to have a firm resolve to achieve the desired by all means and start the work itself with the work on this fulfillment of the desired.
Not everyone starts to make a difference in life for the best. There are many cases that we conceive, but to fulfill them we do not find determination. Think-think, and forget. Many desires remain unfulfilled by a lack of determination and strength to fulfill them. In order for the wish to be fulfilled, it is necessary to raise it into determination, it is necessary that the soul in itself say so: "By all means, I will get such or such a thing or I will do such and such a thing."
When this word is uttered in the soul, then after it comes thinking about how to bring into action what was decided: thinking about the means, finding the favorable circumstances of time and place, speculating on the obstacles that can occur and determining measures to eliminate them, and a possible overview of the entire course from start to finish. When all this is formed, it will be decided in the soul, it is quite ready to deal with.
In this work, with the help of grace, at last, in our heart, God alone will be uttered and to ourselves the audible word: "It is necessary at last; so now I'll start. " Apparently, this is a conclusion; But according to what laws and from what positions it is derived for each person, no science can determine. All the objects of the reasoning of the preceding can be clear and understandable, and the conclusion of that may not be. It happens even that another person puts all those objects so strongly in the word that tens and hundreds of words are coming to the conclusion from the action of these people, and this man himself is not pronounced in the heart. "And no one can say who is acting - grace or freedom, because it happens that the beneficial action goes as if in vain, in vain and all efforts of freedom remain fruitless."
When the determination is established and everything is ready for action, there remains the most important thing - to begin to do and continue with perseverance, patience and appropriate diligence, until it reaches the end.
Take only the first step, and there the very situation itself, into which the initiating business will enter, will begin to push it-to do and do it in the established order.
Therefore, it is important that the desire, with which a person strives for the work of God, first lead to determination, thoughtful, strong, reasonable and, most importantly, irrevocable, and then proceed to business.
But, finally, the man leaned on the side of good, ready to enter this holy path, ready to walk in the good deeds of worship; but at that moment the whole abyss of evil hiding in the heart rises like dust and seeks to cover his whole soul again. All the weaknesses raise an alarm - strong and confusing. The thought behind the thought, movement behind the movement amazes the poor man and is drawn back, attacking without any order, from all sides embrace the soul and in their excitement seek to sink it. Everything good a man holds as if in a thread and he himself is always ready to tear himself away from what is holding, and again plunge into the same environment from which he wanted to go. One saves him - that joy, comfort, peace, which he was honored to taste at the moment when he said in his heart: "Now, now I will begin."
When a person is ready to make a movement from the area of sin to the side of good, a whole multitude of thoughts, embarrassing, terrifying, suppressing rises:
"What kind of life is this?" Ahead is seen one work, hardships, sorrows, deprivations, to which no end is visible; go, as among thorns on thorns with bare feet, - every minute bites! "
- "And leave that thing, and another, and then stop doing it, and the other - in short, everything that the soul found a taste for, and only do spiritual things! It is abstract, dry, non-nutritious, lifeless, "- because man has no taste for the invisible and spiritual, and all the sensory, surrounding, earthly is so known and so many times tested.
"What will they say?" They will find it strange and avoid becoming; meanwhile, it is necessary to tear both that and that link, - how to be after? But on this side, and enmity still await. " A man usually lives by this inviolability of the order or relations established around him, so he shy to change, destroy them and to cater for their preparedness is more likely to cheat the soul than to do something to someone in spite of, not respecting, getting into trouble.
- "The future, of course, will be - who argues against this, - but it's far away, but how to live? Others lived ... Earthly we know, but there what? This is in the hands, and then - where is it? "
Yes, when a person begins to work for the Lord, all this will overcome him. And it's okay if it were light thoughts, or not: they go to the depths of their souls, amaze and attract to their side as if someone hooked on a living body and pulled to him. What can a man do here?
To oppose this with firm determination. This firm, strong irrevocable determination to live with God and in God, in the consciousness of all the labors, obstacles, troubles that await the future, with courageous enthusiasm to stand against them, to the state of life - is, in the words of the saints, the real active force for salvation, which like a "stone, not shaken by the waves (of trials), but breaking them."
Dear brothers and sisters, reading the Gospel, seeing the resolve with which the holy apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John followed throughout the life of the Lord, we will pray for strengthening and our determination to fulfill God's commandments, determination to forgive another person, determination to take care of another person man, determination to humbly and courageously follow the Lord. Amen.