Saint John of Kronstadt
Breathe by faith (by certitude in God’s truth), by trust in God, and by love for God and your neighbour. And how can you help yourself in this? By unbelief in the durability of everything earthly; by not putting your trust in earthly blessings, such as food, drink, money, riches, and earthly ties; by not caring for, by being indifferent to everything earthly and perishable. Do not let your heart cling to anything, do not attach yourself to anything. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
To trust in God means to confide to Him our life, our fate, all our future, and to wait with confidence for the fulfilment of His promises. Hope proceeds from faith, as the plant from the seed, or the stream from the source. We believe that the Lord is good and merciful, that He loves us as a Father, and therefore that He desires every good and true happiness for us. He is most wise and omniscient, and consequently He knows better than we ourselves what is really needful and useful for us. He is almighty; and thus He is always able to bestow upon us that which He pleases, to fulfil that which He has promised. He is holy and righteous, and therefore all His words are truth. His promises are unchangeable. The highest proof of God’s love to man is shown in the fact that He did not spare His Only begotten Son, but delivered Him for our sakes unto sufferings and death. Having strengthened our soul by the thought of the boundless mercy, wisdom, omnipotence, and holiness of our Creator and Provider, we can pass through the course of our earthly life without fear and without disturbance, like a child in its mother’s arms, like a ship with trusty anchors. And therefore “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” “The Lord is my deliverer, in Whom I will trust.” “I will not be afraid for ten thousand of the people.”
“Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God. When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?”Thy name, Lord, is Almighty, because Thou holdest not only heaven and earth, but also all mankind, the life of every man, the hearts of all in Thy Hand; Glory to Thine infinite Omnipotence, Lord! Glory to Thine All-merciful, Most-wise, and All-powerful Providence! Lord of heaven and earth!
Excerpts compiled from: My Life in Christ or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God, St. John of Kronstadt.
The Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow
My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.
Lord, teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me when I seek you. For I cannot seek you unless you first teach me, nor find you unless you first reveal yourself to me. Let me seek you in longing and long for you in seeking. Let me find you in love, and love you in finding.