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We ought to be very sensitive to the needs of others. Then we’ll be one and the blessing of God will abound in us. Saint Sophrony of Essex

Σωφρόνιος του Έσσεξ_Elder Sophrony of Essex_მამა სოფრონი_ Старец Софроний (Сахаров) Эссекс_31712981102071405_nSaint Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex the Athonite (+1993), disciple of St. Silouan the Athonite

Commemorated on July 11

Words of Eternal Life by Father Sophrony

“For me, the life of my brethren is more precious than my own life.”

We cannot acquire the image of Christ within us unless we are truly [united] one, as Christ asked His disciples: Love one another, so that the world may know that you belong to Christ (John 15, 12).

For me, the life of my brethren is more precious than my own. When you will understand this, there will be no more misunderstandings between you. The untying of a problem or a disagreement, does not depend on any organization, or a particular code of conduct, but on the decision to bear everything. Each one of us must have a mother’ heart for others.

We ought to be very sensitive to the needs of others. Then we’ll be one and the blessing of God will abound in us.

We must have Christ’ consciousness, Who bears in Him the whole world; therein lies the universality of the human being. The Word of Christ does not change, and it is eternal.

If we confess in the Creed that Christ is the One True God, the Savior of the world, its Creator through Whom all things were made, how can we reduce our faith to a matter of nationality, place, or time…?
(Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex, in “The Life in the Spirit”)Σωφρόνιος του Έσσεξ_Elder Sophrony of Essex_მამა სოფრონი_ Старец Софроний (Сахаров) Эссекс_e1434ba1430fa5dIt is essential to read the Gospel, that incomparable book. Then our life will be built up on the basis of the Word of God. And we will begin to think and make decisions in the spirit of the Divine commandments. How beautiful, when one begins to think like the Creator of this world!”

The word accidie means etymologically, “lack of care”, i.e, about one’s salvation. With few exceptions, all humanity is now living in a state of accidie. People become indifferent about their salvation. They do not seek divine life. They confine themselves to forms of life which appertain to the flesh, to everyday needs, to the passions of this world, to mundane activities. God, though, created us out of nothing, in the image of the Absolute and after His likeness. If this revelation is true, the absence of concern for salvation is nothing else than the death of the human person.

Psychology brings the greatest evil to mankind today, because this science does not take into consideration Divine revelation, according to which man is created ‘in the image and likeness of God.’”

Prefer the apparent inaction of inner silence to feeding the hungry? There are two kinds of hunger – physical and spiritual… Behold the days come, saith the Lord God that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

Σωφρόνιος του Έσσεξ_Elder Sophrony of Essex_მამა სოფრონი_ Старец Софроний (Сахаров) Эссекс_e14344924349The Fathers of the fourth century left us certain prophecies, according to which in the last times salvation will be bound up with deep sorrows.”

We must have the determination to overcome temptations comparable to the sorrows of the first Christians. All the witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection were martyred. We should be ready to endure any hardship.”

One cannot love without suffering. The greatest pain is that of loving to the utmost. Christ loved so much that He gave Himself up to a terrible death. The saints too. Paradise always costs this price. Prayer for the world is the fruit of extremely deep and acute suffering.

When we decide to follow Christ, every day of our life becomes a day of suffering, of weeping, of pain. Sometimes this question arise in us: “Lord, why hast Thou created us thus, that we must go through so much suffering?” We do not manage to understand that this negative experience is the way of salvation.

Earthly existence is for man an endless suffering. Why do we bear all this? Because the Creator has come and has dwelt among us. And we now know Him personally.

How can we find our way? According to the Gospel, Christ is our way.

May God give you all the spirit of repentance. Weep over your faults; weep, that your heart may not dry up.

There, in the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, must our mind dwell. We must hunger and thirst to enter into this wondrous Kingdom.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Sophrony, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

At the Aposticha, these Stichera: in Tone I:
Spec. Mel.: ‘Of the heavenly orders’.

Thy feast, O God-bearer, * hath arrived brighter than the sun; * illumining those who in faith have recourse unto thee, * filling them with the sweet fragrance of immortality * and radiating effulgent healing upon their souls, * O holy Father, fervent intercessor for our souls.

Verse: Precious in the sight of the Lord * is the death of His saints.
Through the struggles of abstinence * thou didst obtain victory over the sensual passions of the body, * and exhibiting a zeal here on earth like that of the bodiless ones in heaven, * thou didst subdue the desires of the flesh * making them serve the needs of the spirit, * O wonder-worker, (name); * wherefore now, as a dweller in the heavenly habitations, * do thou ever intercede on behalf of our souls.

Verse: Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, * in His commandments shall he greatly delight.
O blessed (name)! * laying within thyself the foundation of the virtues, * thou didst put off the old man with his hosts, * and truly put on Christ; * wherefore, O holy one, having put to shame the many armies of the enemy * thou hast been revealed to be a wise instructor of monks, * ever intercede that our souls be saved.

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