Starets (Elder) Lavrentii (+1950) was a Schema-Archimandrite monk at the Chernigov-Trinity Convent.The Elder often liked to converse with his beloved spiritual children about the end times, about how one must be vigilant.
“This happened when my father was yet alive,” I. M. would recall, concerning her conversation with batiushka Lavrentii. “We were extremely poor, incapable of regaining our senses after the destruction of the war. I went to see starets [elder] Lavrentii, in order to ask him to bless me, that I might secretly wear a podriasnik [an under-cassock, (to be a secret nun)]; but he said to me: “Not all who are in the world will perish; nor will everyone in a monastery be saved! Do you understand? It is not yet time.” Again I began to implore him [to grant me his permission] to enter a women’s monastery, for it is so extremely difficult for one to save oneself in the world, but batiushka said to me: “Monks and schema-monks in the monasteries will attain unto the seventh Heaven; but if you only knew what awaits those virgins who live in the world! The Lord will tell those schema-bearers to make way for these secret ones who did not live in a monastery. And these latter will exceedingly precede the former ! Do you understand that, before God, the secret ones will be superior to those in the monasteries? Do you understand?” the starets asked. “I understand nothing,” was my reply. “Then remember what I just told you, at least!” batiushka said.”
“And I say unto you, and with great regret do I say it, that you will be buying houses, and killing time by adorning large and lovely monastic buildings. But you will have no time for prayer, although you made a vow of non-possession! It will not be difficult to be saved during the last days, but wisely so. The one who overcomes all these temptations, the same will be saved! Such one will be among the first. The former will be like unto lamps; the latter will be like the sun. You have other dwellings prepared for you. So listen, and twirl this around your moustache!” Thus did the venerable starets, gazing into the future with his perspicacious mind, admonish his many, many spiritual children.
To a certain deacon who is yet alive, but who is now quite aged, Batiushka Lavrentii forthrightly said:
“You will live to see the time when antichrist comes to power. Do not be afraid, but tell everyone that this is he — and that there is no need to be afraid! There will be a war, and where it passes, there will be none left alive! But, prior to that time, the Lord will send minor ailments to the weak and they will die, for during antichrist’s time there will no longer be any death. The Third World War will not be for repentance, but for annihilation; but the Lord will leave the strongest alive, that they might confront him [antichrist].
The venerable Starets Lavrentii of Chernigov spoke frequently of antichrist, saying:
“There will come a time when they will fight and fight, and a world war will break out. And in the very thick of it, they will say, ‘Let us choose for ourselves a single king over all the inhabited earth.’ And they will elect him! They will elect antichrist as the universal king and supreme ‘peace-maker’ of the world. It will be necessary to listen carefully; it will be necessary to exercise caution! As soon as they begin to vote for one single man in all the world, know that it is none other than himself, and that it is forbidden [to Orthodox Christians] to vote [for him].”
From ‘Prepodobnyistarets’ [“The Venerable Elder”], originally published in the May 1996 issue of the Russian Orthodox newspaper ‘Zhizn Vechnaya’ [“Eternal Life”]
St. Seraphim of Viritsa said that, “Even in the most difficult times, he who will occupy himself diligently with the Jesus Prayer will be able to be easily saved.”
The Jesus Prayer, says Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, “more than any other,” helps us to be able to “stand in God’s presence.”
The Jesus Prayer is very simple:
“Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,”
Jesus Prayer in Different Languages