Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
The Lord is present everywhere, and nothing happens without His will or His permission – either in this life or eternity. When we accept this idea, everything is made easier. If God would allow us to do everything the way we desire and when we desire, this would certainly result in catastrophe. One cannot even imagine the chaos that would occur.
A soul which has given itself up to God’s will does not fear anything and is not troubled by anything. About everything that happens, it says: it is God’s will.
When you find a soul akin to your own, stay with it, for it is a great joy to make friends with those who think alike.
Today all civilisation is directed towards distracting the attention of people, especially of the young, from themselves, from the self, from looking inside, into the heart.
As long as we pay attention to the negative sides of those we meet, we will not find peace or quiet.
There is not a single being who is perfect. We can only be perfect with God; without Him it is impossible.
Our starting point is always wrong. Instead of beginning with ourselves, we always want to change others first and ourselves last. If everyone would begin first with themselves, then there would be peace all around!
When we talk to our fellow men and they tell us about their troubles, we will listen to them carefully if we have love for them. We will have compassion for their suffering and pain, for we are God’s creatures; we are a manifestation of the love of God.
The fear of God is not the instinctive animal fear of this world. That is a hellish quality. We live in a constant state of fear: what will happen tomorrow, in the future? The fear of God is similar to that when you love someone from your heart and you are careful not to offend him or annoy him with your whole being, not only through your thoughts and actions, but through your thoughts too.
If our thoughts are kind, peaceful and quiet, turned only towards good, then we also influence ourselves and radiate peace all around us—in our family, in the whole country, everywhere. When we labor in the fields of the Lord, we create harmony. Divine harmony, peace and quiet spread everywhere. However, when we breed negative thoughts, that is a great evil. When there is evil in us, we radiate it among our family members and everywhere we go. So you see, we can be very good or very evil. If that’s the way it is, it is certainly better to choose good!
St. John Chrysostom teaches us that all evil comes first from ourselves and only secondly from the devil. If we keep our minds vigilant and our hearts strong in the Faith, the devil has no access to us.