Elder Sophrony Sakharov of Essex
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.
When we choose Christ we are carried beyond time and space, beyond the reach of what is termed ‘tragedy’.
Human life at whatever stage was unavoidably interlinked with suffering. Even love was full of contradictions and bitter crises.The seal of destruction lay everywhere.
I saw that there was no tragedy in God. Tragedy is to be found solely in the fortunes of the man whose gaze has not gone beyond the confines of this earth.
Christ’s love, during the whole time that He abode with us here, was acute suffering.
He lived the tragedy of all mankind; but in Himself there was no tragedy.
‘I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ (John 16.32,33)…Aware of the breath of the Holy Spirit, he is assured of the inevitable victory of Light.
The Father so loved us that He gave us His Son; but such was the will of the Son too, and He became incarnate and lived with us on earth.
“We do not think about how to change the world with our own powers. We strive to receive strength from God in order to act at all times with love.”
We shall not care what people think of us, or how they treat us.We shall cease to be afraid of falling out of favor.
we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit.It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer.
Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect – it will not matter provided that the Lord accept us.
When we are overwhelmed by the feeling of our own utter nothingness, the uncreated light transfigures and brings us like sons into the Father’s house.
Sophrony (Sakharov), Archimandrite, ‘The Sacrament of Christian Life,’ Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra, St. John the Baptist Monastery, 2009
The problem of evil in the world generally and in mankind particularly poses the question of God’s participation in the historical life of the human race…
Christ said, ‘I came not to send peace, but a sword’ (Matt. 10.34) and ‘division’ (Luke 12.51).Christ summoned us to war on the plane of the spirit, and our weapon is ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ (Eph. 6.17).Our battle is waged in extraordinarily unequal conditions.We are tied hand and foot.We dare not strike with fire or sword: our sole armament is love, even for enemies.This unique war in which we are engaged is indeed a holy war.We wrestle with the last and only enemy of mankind- death (1 Cor. 15.26).Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov. His Life is Mine.