Iconography and Hand painted icons

St. Seraphim of Sarov, You must not sorrow, for Christ has conquered all

St. Seraphim of Sarov
by Elena Kontsevitch

Άγιος Σεραφείμ Σάρωφ_St. Seraphim of Sarov_ Преподобный Серафим Саровский_22222After work and reading, he would instruct the novice on prayer, repeating that which was said to him by Elder Dositheus, and in which he labored ceaselessly:

“Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should exercise themselves in the remembrance of God, and the ceaseless prayer to Jesus Christ. In handicrafts, or anywhere on obedience,” he instructed one monk, “ceaselessly repeat the prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.’

As for sleep—he encouraged sleeping four hours (per day) from 9:00 in the evening till an hour after midnight. Similarly did he suggest restraint in eating: on Wednesdays and Fridays, especially during the four fasts, he said, “Take food once a day, and an Angel of God will cling to you.”

The Saint strongly advised to preserve peace. “Acquire peace and thousands shall be saved around you. If it is impossible not to become disturbed, then at least try to hold your tongue, according to the Psalmist: I was troubled and spake not (76:4). In order to escape judgment, you should be attentive to yourself, and ask: “Where am I?” In the same way the Saint warned about struggles with despondency: “You should throw off despondency, and strive to have a joyful spirit, not a sorrowful one, in the words of Sirach: ‘Sorrow destroys much, and there is no use for it’ (30:25). “This sickness,” the Saint said, “is healed by prayer, restraint from idle talk, handiwork as you are able, reading the Word of God and patience; because despondency arises from idleness.”

One Sarov monk was given over to such a temptation. Wishing to find relief, he shared his grief with a brother. After Vespers they left the monastery, and, walking through the surrounding area, they came to the stable. Suddenly they saw St. Seraphim. Deeply honoring him, they fell at his feet. The God-Pleaser, with extraordinary gentleness blessed them, and seeing the brother’s depression, sang out: “Fill my heart with joy, O Virgin, Thou who didst receive the fullness of joy, and didst banish the grief of sin” (troparion from the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos). Then, stamping the ground strongly and ecstatically, he said, “You must not sorrow, for Christ has conquered all, Adam is resurrected, Eve set free, death slain.”

From the book, St. Seraphim of Sarov, by Elena Kontsevitch
Translated by St. Xenia Skete



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