Let us learn to love God by loving our neighbour. Let us put our ability to love to the test - a litmus test, and pray that this test may show that love underlies our every deed, word, movement. May we have benevolence and good intentions, and think well of every man, so we can have peace in our heart, and become better people.
All of us have some knowledge of our inner selves, but it is not complete. The saints of our church have said about themselves: I am the least worthy of all. They were not being facetious. They were just being introspective.
Most of us are still not looking below the surface. But with greater perceptiveness, we might be able to see in us things we might want to eschew - the thoughts, the attitudes and the states of mind.
We often have much on our plate, we are dogged by illnesses and other troubles. But what do we have within us? Unless we are at peace with ourselves, the rest is irrelevant and meaningless. Without inner peace, our words and actions are insincere, as they are inconsistent with God's love and His will.
Are we doing God's will? This is the first thing we should ask ourselves as Christians. If the answer is yes, then we have peace, and we are in the Lord. The Lord will always be with us, He will never abandon us.
We all remember the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11 - 32), who squandered his wealth in wild living, came to his senses and returned to his father in repentance. He was prepared to become one of his father's hired servants. This was enough for his father to throw his arms around him and restore him to the dignity of being his son. Love has no boundaries, and we should all learn how to love others to the same extent. We should all step back from time to time for contemplation, so we can accept the will of God and give Him our thanks.
O Lord! Glory to You!
Priest Valery Zakharov
How might we picture our meeting with the Lord? Our hearts will wake up to His presence and infinite love; we will discover the joy of forgiveness and prayer for the whole world.
Apostle Paul gives an apt description of the inner struggle that many of us will have experienced: "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do I do". These words are very true, but in reality, our dilemma lies even deeper.
The only perspective from which to view the actions of the Russian Royal Family is that of the Gospel, underlined Metropolitan Veniamin, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus in his sermon on the Feast Day of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers at Saint…
Our pleasures in this world are finite, shallow and illusory. They can bring us the sensation of momentary happiness, but to agree to spend the whole eternity in this state of self-deception would be sheer madness.
The reality is often different from our wishes. It is cruel to say to someone who is terminally ill, "You are going to get well." Instead, to talk to the person about their eternal destination is to express deep and genuine love.
Our fixation with our moods, grudges and displeasures will not take us far in the way of God. It will not keep us from our sense of despair, frustration, disappointment and failure.
The birth of the living God returned to humanity the sense of His closeness. God acted through the people who had kept within themselves the ability to live by their faith. People like the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.
There is so little and so much that is expected of us: to meet with patience and humility the things and people we may not fully like. By leading their lives in prayer, fasting and hard work, the great saints attained the glory of God.