St. Seraphim of Sarov the Wonderworker
Commemorated on January 2 and on July 19/August 1 (The translation of the Saint’s holy relics)
“Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a Thousand Souls Around You Shall Be Saved” ( St. Seraphim of Sarov )
“My joy, I beg you, acquire the Spirit of Peace. That means to bring oneself to such a state that our spirit will not be disturbed by anything. For one must go through many sorrows to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the way all righteous men were saved and inherited the Heavenly Kingdom…”
-St. Seraphim of Sarov, from his conversation with N. Motovilov.
“Oh, if you only knew what joy, what sweetness awaits a righteous soul in Heaven! You would decide in this mortal life to bear any sorrows, persecutions and slander with gratitude….”
One should always endure all things with gratitude, for God’s sake.
Our life is but a minute in comparison with eternity. Therefore, according to the Apostle, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
When someone disparages and abuses you, try as far as possible to forgive him, in accordance with the Gospel: “Of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again” (Luke 6:30).
When people revile us, we should consider ourselves unworthy of praise. If we were worthy, all would defer to us.
We should always and foremost humble ourselves, following the teaching of St. Isaac of Syria: “Humble yourself and you will see the glory of God within yourself.”
Therefore let us love humility, and we shall behold the glory of God. His glory is imparted to us in proportion as we become humble.
If there were no light all things would be dark. Similarly, without humility there is nothing in man but darkness.
Insults from others must be borne without disturbance; one must train oneself to be of such a nature, that one can react to insults as if they did not refer to oneself. Such an exercise can bring serenity to our heart and make it a dwelling of God Himself.
In order to keep spiritual peace, it is necessary to chase dejection away from oneself, and to try to have a joyful spirit, according to the words of the most wise Sirach: “Sorrow has killed many, but there is no good in it” (Sir. 30:25).
In order to keep spiritual peace it is also necessary to avoid judging others in any way. Condescension towards your neighbor and silence protect spiritual peace. When a person is in such an state, then he receives Godly revelations.
“True hope seeks the one Kingdom of God and is sure that everything necessary for this mortal life will surely be given. The heart cannot have peace until it acquires this hope. This hope pacifies it fully and brings joy to it. The most holy lips of the Saviour spoke about this very hope: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).”
Saint Seraphim of Sarov said…
“When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better. Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave. Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you. And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now. For I am living and I shall be forever.”
May St. Seraphim bless us and help us to acquire the spirit of peace.
Your truths, Father Seraphim, are the same as the eternal truths of the apostles and the holy fathers. Yet, we need to hear these words again and again for our spiritual fortification. Each generation testifies of Jesus Christ, nurturing those around them as well as those who come after them. Saint Seraphim, we therefore implore you to count us among the thousands whom you have guided, as we offer you these praises:
Rejoice, lamp who shines through the thickets of confusion.
Rejoice, enlightenment of those who pursue clarity of mind.
Rejoice, candle who burns brightly under a sky of foreboding.
Rejoice, illumination of all who adore Christ and Him only.
Rejoice, radiance who spreads forth, unafraid of malicious forces.
Rejoice, courage of those who desire integrity amid corruption.
Rejoice, brilliance who pours out, undaunted by vicious intruders.
Rejoice, confidence of all who desire holiness under oppression.
Rejoice, ray who pierces the congestion of lifestyle choices.
Rejoice, hope of those who decide to travel on the path of prayer.
Rejoice, flame who burns away the noise of daily survival.
Rejoice, resolve of all those who cultivate interior silence.
Rejoice, Saint Seraphim, spiritual father of all the faithful.
We see that the devil would try to lure us away from the path of prayer, distracting our thoughts and disturbing our hearts. Help us, Saint Seraphim, to worship God and to do His holy will. May we always please Him, in whatever manner of work we undertake, and also be a blessing to those around us. May we fulfill God’s divine purpose, and immediately repent if we stumble or stray. Let us constantly ask for mercy, and say: Alleluia.