St John of Kronstadt
Sometimes in the lives of pious Christians there are hours when God seems to have entirely abandoned them – hours of the power of darkness; and then the man from the depths of his heart cries unto God: “Why has Thou turned Thy face from me, Thou everlasting Light? For a strange darkness has covered me, the darkness of the accursed evil Satan, and has obscured all my soul. It is very grievous for the soul to be in this torturing and darkness of hell. Turn me, O Saviour, to the light of Thy commandments, and make straight my spiritual way, I fervently pray Thee.”
Unite your soul to God by means of hearty faith and you will be able to accomplish everything. Do powerful, invisible, ever-watchful enemies wage war against you? You will conquer them. Are these enemies visible, outward? You will conquer them also. Do passions rend you? You will overcome them. Are you crushed with sorrows? You will get over them. Have you fallen into despondency? You will obtain courage. With faith you will be able to conquer everything, and even the Kingdom of Heaven will be yours. Faith is the greatest blessing of the earthly life; it unites the man to God, and makes him strong and victorious through Him. “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
If you are not subjected to distresses, and danger of bodily or spiritual death, you will not truly know the Saviour, the Life-giver, Who delivers us from these distresses and from spiritual death. Jesus Christ is the consolation, the joy, the life, the peace, and the breadth of our hearts! Glory to God, the most wise and most gracious, that He allows the spirit of evil and death to tempt and torment us! Otherwise we should not have sufficiently appreciated and valued the comfort of grace, the comfort of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, the Life-giver!
Never despair of God’s mercy, by whatever sins you may have been bound by the temptation of the Devil, but pray with your whole heart, with the hope of forgiveness; knock at the door of God’s mercy and it shall be opened unto you.
book: My Life in Christ by St John of Kronstadt (ed. Fr. John Sergiff)
St. Dimitri of Rostov
Open, O doors and bolts of my heart,
that Christ the King of Glory may enter!
Enter, O my Light, and enlighten my darkness;
enter, O my Life, and resurrect my deadness;
enter, O my Physician, and heal my wounds;
enter, O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins;
ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of Thy love;
enter, O my King, and destroy in me the kingdom of sin;
sit on the throne of my heart and alone reign in me,
O Thou, my King and Lord.