I remember being asked, “There are certain times in my life when I feel depressed when it’s hard for me to pray when my mind wanders around. What would you recommend doing in those moments? How do I deal with those emotional states?”
Everyone has moments when life becomes too hard to tolerate… I have heard about and used the following method: just drink some tea and eat something. The pain will become less excruciating. Or have some sleep. I’m not talking of the cases when you simply have to overcome yourself and not pay attention to your ego. There are moments in your life when you’re really on the edge when you’re so stressed out… That was what Father Sophrony (Sakharov) told a hierodeacon from Mt. Athos in response to a similar question: “Stand on the edge but when you can’t any longer, go drink some tea.” A person needs some relief. If you bend something over all the time, you can break it. That’s why you need reckoning. If you don’t tie yourself up in this condition and ask for advice, then God through a priest (or if there isn’t any priest around, through some Christian person) will tell you what to do to stop being desperate. “Keep your mind in hell but don’t give up” — that’s the motto of our life.
We constantly live on the edge of life and death. On the one hand, the old self must die. On the other hand, the new self must be born. This process is painful and troublesome sometimes. That is why I wish us all to have enough humility, patience, and, most importantly, trust in God. The Lord never abandons us under any circumstances and in any situation. He is always near. You simply have to keep your eyes and your hearts wide open and pray to God. God will surely answer you.
Let us ask that St. Nicholas does not abandon his heavenly intercessions and that he corrects what we are doing wrong. Let us ask him to instruct us to do every good deed, so that by his prayers we dare to do the works of God
When the Pharisees met Christ, one of them asked, "Who is He?" "Son of Joseph," replied another. We like to believe that we know it all. We like to be confident and unshaken in our decisions and to be convincing to ourselves and others.
The Mother of God is our Mother in Heaven; she intercedes for us and comes to our help throughout our lives. Her love is salvific and everlasting. Mother of all the world's children, she defeated death in her heart.
So what kind of fasting should we aim for if we want to please God and benefit our spirits? There is no need to muse too much over these questions - today's Gospel readings give us the idea.
To be an Orthodox faithful is to be versatile; we are looking for and exploring the best means to express our spiritual movements and sensations in the fullest and most vivid way. We have a great challenge and a duty to ourselves - never to…
The Kingdom of Heaven is a place of unity, not of separation. In the Kingdom, people are called upon to give up their own selves, their privileges and desires for the sake of another. The original sin distorted the Lord's design for the world…
We should have a purpose to our lives, and do all we can to live up to it. Yet some lives look more like an abandoned corner of a field overgrown with weed. People seem to be living them without a sense of purpose, and some may have given up.
Having faith in God is not enough; you need to put your trust in Him. We should learn to see His providence in all that is happening, to see life not as a chain of coincidences but as God's unconditional participation in our destinies.