St. Anatoly II the Younger of Optina (+1922)
Commemorated on July 30
After the demonic storm, God’s sunshine will appear.
St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain
Elder Anatoly had a gift of prophesy, and clearly understood the impending trials that Christians would have to face in the last times, the era of the apocalypse, due to “poverty in piety” and a lack of true hierarchs. These instructions bespeak his tremendous love and concern for the faithful that will have to endure such hard times, which may already be upon us.
My child, know that in the last days hard times will come, as the Apostle says, behold due to poverty in piety, in churches the heresies and schisms will appear”, and as the Holy Fathers foretold, than on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries, there will be no men tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of the human kind will act skillfully, if possible, leading the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Jesus Christ, on Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers from the Holy Spirit – the Church teaching itself. Cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” will notice a very small number of those most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere will appoint their servants, and the spirituality will be neglected. But the Lord will not leave His servants without protection, and in ignorance. He said “by the fruits you will recognize them”. And strive to distinguish them from real pastors; those spiritual thieves who are snatching the spiritual flock, do not enter through the door into the sheepfold, but cross in the other place” as the Lord said it, that is, they will enter in illegal way, with force(violence) destroying God’s order. The Lord calls them the criminals.
Truly, their real duty is persecution of true pastors, their imprisonment, for without that the spiritual flock may not become captured. Therefore, my son, when you see in the Church mocking of the Divine act, teaching of the Fathers, and God-established order, know that the heretics have already appeared, even though for some time they might hide their evil intensions, or will unnoticeably deform the divine faith, to better succeed by deceiving and tricking the inexperienced .
They will persecute not only the pastors, but also the servants of God, for the devil who is directing the heresy cannot bear living in Divine order. Like wolfs in sheep skin, they will be recognized by their vainglorious nature, love for lust, and lust for power – those will be betrayers causing hatred and malice everywhere; and therefore the Lord said that one will recognize them by their fruits. The true servants of God are – meek, brotherloving and obedient to the Church(order, traditions..).
At that time, monks will endure great pressures from heretics, and the monastic life will be mocked. The monastic families will be impoverished, the number of monks will reduce. The ones remaining, will endure violence.
These haters of the monastic life, who merely have the appearance of piety, will strive to draw monks on their side, promising them protection and worldly goods(comforts), but threatening with exile to those who do not submit. From these threats, the weak at heart will be very humiliated (tormented).
If you live to see that time, rejoice, for at that time the faithful, not possessing other virtues will receive wreaths merely for standing in faith, according to the Word of the Lord “everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess before My Heavenly Father”.
Fear the Lord, my son!, dont lose the received wreath, not to be rejected by Christ into the utter darkness and eternal suffering.
Bravely stand in faith, and if needed joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for than the Lord will stand by you…and holy Martyrs and Confessors with joyfully watch at your struggle.
But, in these days, woe be to monks tied to possessions and riches, and who for the sake of love of comfort agree to subjugate themselves to the heretics. They will lull their conscience saying: we will save the monastery, and the Lord will forgive us.Unfortunate and blinded, they are not even thinking that through heresies and heretics, the devil will enter the monastery, and than it will no longer be a holy monastery, but bare walls from which Grace will depart from forever.
But God is more powerful than devil, and will never abandon His servants. There will always be true Christians, till the end of time, but they will choose lonely and deserted places. Do not fear troubles, but fear pernicious heresy, for it drives out Grace, and separates from Christ, wherefore Christ commanded consider the heretic as let him be unto thee as a heathen man and publican.
And so, strenghten yourself, my son, in the Grace of Christ Jesus. With joy hasten to the confession and enduring the suffering, like Jesus Christ’s good soldier who said: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life ” (Rev.2:10).
To Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, honor and glory unto ages of ages. Amen
St. Anatoly of Optina “Last times and now” collection of writtings
Orthodox Life magazine Volume 43 – Issue No. 3, 1993
Prophecy of St. Nilus (d. circa AD 430)
After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people’s minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable.
People’s appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left.
At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society.
At that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse. The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians remaining in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all. Then they will separate themselves out of the world in holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints.
And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become the ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other.
At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist.
And, the impious one!—he will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases. Then the All-good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible… then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants.
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
I see that something is in the works, that something lies just around the corner, but it’s constantly being put off. Little delays all the time. Who’s creating the delays? God? Another month passes, then another couple of months! That’s how it all goes. But since we know what awaits us, let’s develop love in ourselves, to the degree that we can. That’s the main thing: for true brotherly love to exist between us. Kindness, love — that’s strength!
That unsettles me is the reigning mood of tranquility. Something is in the works. We still haven’t understood properly either what’s going on, or the fact that we will die. I don’t know what will come of this. The situation is very complicated. The fate of the world depends on just a few people, but God is still putting on the brakes. We have to pray a lot, and with pain in our hearts, so that God will intervene: our times are very hard to understand. A lot of ash, rubbish, and indifference has accumulated, and a strong wind will be needed to blow it all away.
It’s frightening! The Tower of Babel is upon us! Divine intervention is needed: Great upheavals are happening. What a bedlam! The minds of whole nations are in confusion. But in spite of the ferment I feel a certain consolation inside, a certain confidence. God still dwells in a part of the Christians. God’s people, people of prayer, still remain, and God in his all-goodness still tolerates us and will put everything in order. Don’t be afraid! We’ve gone through many storms, and still haven’t perished. So should we be afraid of the storm which is now gathering? We’ll not perish this time either”
God loves us. In Man there’s a hidden power which comes out when necessary. The difficult years will be few. Just a lot of thunder.
Don’t get upset in the least, for God is above everything.
Today’s situation can be resisted only spiritually, not by worldly means. The storm will continue to rage a bit, will throw all the flotsam, everything unnecessary, onto the shore, and then the situation will become clearer.
…With God’s permission, a strong jolt will come our way. Difficult times lie ahead. We will be greatly tasted. We have to take this warning seriously and live spiritually. It is circumstances that are forcing us and will force us in the future, to labour spiritually. But we should try to do so by choice and joyfully rather than by necessity when various sorrows come upon us. Many Saints would plead to live in our times so that they would have the chance to struggle for Christ…The Russians will take Turkey. The Chinese will cross the Euphrates.
Providence tells me that many events will happen: The Russians will take Turkey and Turkey will disappear from the world map because a third of the Turks will become Christians, another third will die in the war and another third will leave for Mesopotamia. The Mid-East will become a theater of a war in which the Russians will take place. Much blood will be spilled. The Chinese, with an army of 200 million, will cross the Euphrates and go all the way to Jerusalem. The sign that this event is approaching will be the destruction of the Mosque of Omar, for its destruction will mark the beginning of work by the Jews to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, which was built on the same spot. There will be a great war between Russians and Europeans, and much blood will be spilled. Greece won’t play a leading role in that war, but they’ll give her Constantinople. Not because the Russians adore the Greeks, but because no better solution will be found. The city will be handed over to the Greek Army even before it has a chance to get there. The Jews, inasmuch as they’ll have great power and the help of the European leadership, will become proud and insolent beyond measure and conduct themselves shamelessly. They’ll try to rule Europe. They’ll play all sorts of tricks, but the resulting persecutions will lead Christians to unite completely. However, they won’t unite in the way desired by those who are now engaging in various machinations to create a single church united under a single religious leadership. Christians will unite because the unfolding situation will naturally separate the sheep from the goats. Then the prophecy: “one flock and one shepherd” will actually come to pass.
Wakefulness and sobriety are needed. All that a person does he must do for the sake of God. Christ must be at the source of every movement. Much attention is required, for when we do something with the aim of pleasing others we gain no benefit. We ascend to the heavens not through earthly striving but by humbling ourselves spiritually. He who goes low goes sure and never falls. Ours is an age of sensationalism and hullabaloo. But the spiritual life is not noisy. Divine enlightenment is required and when it’s not there the person abides in darkness. He may act out of good intentions but create many problems in his confusion, both for the Church and for society. There was a time when the Holy Spirit enlightened us and showed us the way. A grand business! Today it finds no reason to descend to us. Difficult years are ahead. The Old Testament Tower of Babel was child’s play compared with our age.
The Seal of the Antichrist Becomes a Reality
It’s possible that you’ll live through much which is described in the Book of Revelations. Much is coming to the surface, little by little. The situation is horrible. Madness has gone beyond all bounds. Apostasy is upon us, and now the only thing left is for the ‘son of perdition’ (2 Thess. 2:3) to come.
The world has turned into a madhouse. A great confusion will reign, in which each government will begin to do whatever comes into its head. We’ll see how the most unlikely, the most insane, events will happen. The only good thing is that these events will happen in very quick succession.
Ecumenism, common markets, a one-world government, a single made-to-order religion: such is the plan of these devils. The Zionists are already preparing their messiah. For them the false-messiah will be king, will rule here, on earth.
A great discord will arise. In this discord everyone will clamor for a king to save them. At that moment they’ll offer up their man, who’ll say: “I’m the Imam, I’m the fifth Buddha, I’m the Christ whom Christians are awaiting. I’m the one whom the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been waiting for. I’m the Jewish messiah.”
Difficult times are ahead. Great trials await us. Christians will suffer great persecutions. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that people don’t understand that we’re on the verge of the end times, that the seal of the Antichrist is becoming a reality. As if nothing’s happening. That’s why Holy Scripture says that even the chosen will be deceived.
The Zionists want to rule the earth. To achieve their ends they use black magic and satanism. They regard satan-worship as a means to gain the strength they need to carry out their plans. They want to rule the earth using satanic power. God is not something they take into account.
One sign that the fulfillment of prophecy is near will be the destruction of the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem. They’ll destroy it in order to restore the Temple of Solomon which used to be on the same place. In the end the Jews will pronounce the Antichrist messiah in this rebuilt temple.
The rabbis know that the true Messiah has already come and that they crucified Him. They know this, and yet they are blinded by egoism and fanaticism.
How great is the devil’s hatred of mankind! How strong is the enemy’s desire to destroy us! And yet we forget with whom we are doing battle. If only you knew how many times the devil has already wound his tail around the earth, planning to destroy it! However, God does not allow him to do it, He ruins all his plans. God extracts benefit even from the evil which the devil attempts to do to us; God turns this evil into good.
Look: the merciful God never allows great trials to continue for more than three generations. He always leaves some good stock available. Prior to the Babylonian captivity the Israelis concealed the fire from their last offering to God in an empty well, in order to afterwards light the fire for new offerings. And, in fact, when they returned from captivity seventy years later, the fire used for the first offering to God was lit from the one they found in the well. In difficult times not everyone inclines towards evil. God keeps a good stock for future generations. The Communists held up for 75 years – exactly three generations. And the Zionists, despite going strong for so many years, at the end will not last even seven.
To the Martyrs; (Tone II):
The company of martyrs resisted the tyrants, saying: * ‘We are soldiers of the King of the powers on high; * though ye give us up to fire and torment, ** we shall not deny the power of the Trinity.’