Natural, simple, humble, meek love for God ~ Elder Thaddeus of Serbia

“He cannot move away from us, for He is life.  All of Him is love.  Oh, if we men could have the same love toward Him, and approach Him as our only true friend!  Alas, that is not how we come before Him.  Instead, we are reserved, we approach Him with formality.  When we pray, and when we do something good, we are altogether very formal. … He, in turn, wants us to be natural.  When He came to dwell among us, He showed us the way to live: simply, humbly and meekly.  We should approach Him just as He created us — as innocent children.” ~Elder Thaddeus of Serbia

Prayer for Enemies ~ St. Nikolai of Zhicha

Prayer for Enemies by St Nikolai

Lord Jesus Christ,

Who didst command us to love our enemies,

and those who defame and injure us,

and to pray for them and forgive them;

Who Thyself didst pray for Thine enemies,

who crucified thee:

grant us, we pray,

the spirit of Christian reconciliation and meekness,

that we may heartily forgive every injury

and be reconciled with our enemies.

Grant us to overcome the malevolence and offences of people

with Christian meekness and true love of our neighbor.

We further beseech Thee,

O Lord, to grant to our enemies true peace and forgiveness of sins;

and do not allow them to leave this life without true faith and sincere conversion.

And help us repay evil with goodness,

and to remain safe from the temptations of the devil and from all the perils which threaten us,

in the form of visible and invisible enemies.

Amen.

“Purify me, cleanse me, bring me to harmony, and give me beauty, understanding, light.”

Most people have a superficial view of monasticism. However, we must again stress that all the training developed in Orthodox monasteries consists of attuning the nous. Then all tasks and occupations are sanctified. With a pure and well-adjusted nous, silence and speech, hesychia and mission, work and inaction, life in the cell and life in Church, mourning and joy, sorrow and hope, recreation and repentance are all sanctified. Then a person is a monk wherever he is, whatever he does. There are no specific times dedicated or to work. The whole of life and all the hours of the day are sanctified and blessed, provided the nouse is brought into harmony and the monk acquires spiritual health. Praxis and theoria, obedience and prayer help towards this.

Exactly the same thing should happen within marriage, the family and social life. Basically, before a person begins married life, he needs training to attune his nous so that he can life and behave as God wills. Prayer before marriage brings health and makes a person capable of facing all problems without confusion and without his nous being disturbed. If he is rightly tuned, he is at rest in God whatever he does. Many married people maintain that is impossible for someone to live a Christian life as the head of a family. Apart from being blasphemy towards God, this shows profound ignorance. Monks who live in monastic communities do not have fewer problems than married people. They too have many concerns and many tasks to carry out. The main problem is that many people begin married life without orienting their nous towards God or being spiritually tuned.

There is talk about the need for future parents to learn about child-rearing, psychology and so on, so that they can bring up their children and cope with problems. However beneficial this may be, it is not enough. There are parents who possess such human knowledge in abundance, yet are unable to provide solutions to the problems of co-existence within the home and of bringing up children. What is needed before anything else is spiritual tuning. The nous must learn to hasten eagerly towards God, so that the whole life is sanctified. Nowadays only a spiritually healthy person can deal with difficult problems that arise on a daily basis and continually multiply.

Parents are renowned for agonizing about how to bring up their children. I firmly believe, however, that what a child receives in the course of his upbringing is not the knowledge that his parents happen to have or the advice they give, however wise it may be, but above all what his parents themselves are. We do not offer children what we know; rather, we offer them what we ourselves are. If we have been brought into harmony, if our nous is free and knows how to converse with God, if we are spiritually balanced, then it is certain that the children will develop appropriately.

It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives. A medical expert knows how and when to intervene, and the same applies to an experienced parent.

Most contemporary parents bring up their children without praying. Instead they use human knowledge and have a purely human perspective. They do not know how to ask God for solutions through prayer. Their nous is taken up with external problems that children have: it is held captive by the children instead of being captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10-5). Their nous is turned to see the children day and night, not God. The most important issue for many parents is not God and their salvation, but their children. And they take a very superficial view of them.

By writing these things I do not mean that we should abandon our children, since God has entrusted them to us to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). But we cannot use this as an excuse to abandon God or to bring children up without God.

We need spiritual tuning. This comes about through prayer and keeping Christ’s commandments, as prayer cannot be isolated from our whole ascetic effort to follow God’s will for our life.

The fact is that nowadays most of us are out of tune spiritually, so instead of solving problems, we make them worse. We are inwardly sick and we pass on our sickness to social institutions and family life.

Our main concern should be how to be brought into harmony, how our nous can be detached from earthly things and turned towards God. This has to happen according to our own desire but, more importantly, with the help and energy of God. Our constant prayer to God should be:

“Purify me, cleanse me, bring me to harmony, and give me beauty, understanding, light.”

~Met. Hierotheos from “The Science of Spiritual Medicine”

Modern Vice: Computer Games

From: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/7396.htm

– You have touched upon the subject of computer games. It is natural for children to want to play games. Should this involvement in computer games be considered an illness?

– In our times, we are witnessing the following phenomenon: mankind, having exhausted its strength, has figured out new ways and methods of child education, of informing the children and introducing some manner of intellectual habit through computers. At the same time, we are becoming convinced that these inventions do not in the least justify themselves in obtaining the goal. Children are drowning in the quagmire of computer games. There is danger not only to their spiritual well-being, but also to their mental and physical health. They are becoming invalids before they have even had the chance to fully unfold their extraordinary powers. I sometimes think about how our country is not so technologically equipped (thank God), as other countries; yet every year more and more children are turning into computer Monte Christos — imprisoned voluntarily in the Chateau d’Iff of their own apartments. Their souls no longer see the living world. “The world holds no interest, and bread is not sweet.”

We are also witnesses to the terrible loss which children are inflicting upon themselves — motionless and dehydrated, they truly become patients. Certain modern psychologists kindly remind us that in 19th century Russia schizophrenia was called stony insensibility — the incapability of sharply perceiving things in the world. A person who is free from computer sickness can say together with Pushkin, “I am born to think and to suffer.”

A child who is, to the contrary, entangled in the virtual tentacles of the octopus of computer games, really does appear bloodless in the eyes of a trained specialist. He looses interest in living life, all his reactions are dulled, and he seeks no friendship with his peers. He becomes Kay of Han Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, and finds himself in the land of icy hearts, an eternal captive of the Snow Queen, playing his melancholy game of Hermann Hesse’s computer beads, repeating together with the story’s famous heroine the words, “Freedom or no freedom, it’s all the same.” He has lost the will to live. He no longer dreams about the future, he has fallen into a slavery of the most horrendous kind — computer instincts. His soul becomes filled ever more each day with aggression, pride, and fornication. All this is made even worse by the fact that it is all coming about in a hidden way — in the form of computer games.

Doing Good ~ St. Silouan

God helps us in what is good, while the enemy incites us to evil, but this depends also on our own wills; we must constrain ourselves to do good, but with moderation and knowing the measure of our strength. We must study our souls to know what is salutory for us: it may be more profitable for one man to pray, for another to read or write. It is a good thing to read but it is better to pray without distraction, and better still to weep: to each as it is given to him by the Lord. To be sure, when we rise from sleep we must render thanks to God, then repent and pray our fill. Next, we should read to rest the mind, and after that pray again, and then work. Grace proceeds from everything that is good. But above all from brotherly love. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite

THE HEART, THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE OF A PERSON

An excerpt from “Conversations with Children,” by Sister Magdelen of the Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, United Kingdom.  

THE HEART, THE SPIRITUAL CENTRE OF A PERSON

‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all they mind’ (Luke 10:27). Christ put the heart first in His Commandment. The heart is the most personal component of a human being. Our brains and our minds reflect in their way the state of our heart; as the Lord said, thoughts proceed out of the heart (Matt. 15:19, Mark 7:21). ‘Our ideas, our philosophical systems, our cosmologies, our world views, are nothing else but the history of our hearts.’* As we develop spiritually, our intellect no longer remains separated, exiled in the brain. Mind and heart are united in a re-integrated person.

The heart is cleansed and awakened by grace and by life according to the Gospel; that is why so many of our contemporaries are only aware of the heart’s physical functions. Sometimes they acknowledge also its emotional facet – though in the case of the emotions many consider the term ‘heart’ to be symbolic or metaphorical. Those who follow a Christian path will discover that the heart is the meeting place between the real ‘I’, the human hypostasis, and the living God. The pure in heart see God there. Knowledge of Him originates there. The cultivation of the heart is a task beyond any secular educational system. Intellectual ability is now deemed the criterion of knowledge. Because we are spiritually frozen we do not recognize a thought until it has taken a cerebral form. In reality, moral and spiritual judgments are decided in the heart.

Child to a spiritual father: ‘What shall I do about [personal problem]?’ Elder: ‘I think you should decide about that yourself’. Child: ‘But I can’t’ Elder: ‘That’s because you tried to decide here [hand on forehead] rather than here [hand on heart].’ Obviously this was a personal answer. But the fact that it was given to a child is significant. It also shows us that in Christian life, deciding by the heart does not mean being guided by the emotions rather than by reason. Neither does it mean that feelings are superior to thinking. Nor do we deny the value of reasoning. Deciding by our heart means opening the core of one’s being to God’s enlightenment, and letting the effect of that prayer colour our decision-making.

In the spiritual education of children, our first concern is not to train their wills, but to attract grace – by our life and prayer – to their environment, and to let each child’s heart become attached to grace. Theological discussion with children is a very small proportion of Christian education. Prayer that God will touch them with grace is a permanent dimension of all our dealings with children, even when they are not with us.

Protopresbyter George Metallinos, recalling the holy Elder Porphyrios: ‘He told me that I must deal with one of my children by praying a lot more. He specifically said to me about that child, “Whatever you would say to that child […], say it to God. Kneel before God and through the grace of God, your words will be conveyed to your child.” About my other child, he said to me: “[…] He listens, but he easily forgets. Therefore, again you will kneel and you will ask for God’s grace, so that your fatherly words will fall upon good soil and will be able to bear fruit.”**

 

*Fr. Theokletos Dionysiatis, “Between Heaven and Earth [in Greek], (Athens, 1955), p. 130.

More Quotes on the Education of Children

‎”When the child is tired, tell him worthwhile stories (children like listening to tales from the past) and so draw him away from childish behavior, because you are bringing up a Christian philosopher and athlete, a citizen of heaven.” ~St. John Chrysostom

‎”In order to divert the child’s eyes from obscene sights, you should show him beautiful things, like the sky, the sun, the stars, flowers, meadows and well illustrated books.” ~St. John Chrysostom

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives. ”

“I firmly believe, however, that what a child receives in the course of his upbringing is not the knowledge that his parents happen to have or the advice they give, however wise it may be, but above all what his parents themselves are. We do not offer children what we know; rather, we offer them what we ourselves are. If we have been brought into harmony, if our nous is free and knows how to converse with God, if we are spiritually balanced, then it is certain that the children will develop appropriately.”

“It is very important to create a prayerful and healthy atmosphere within the home, because an atmosphere of prayer and spiritual health has a profound influence on children’s lives.”

~ Met. Hierotheos

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” ~Charlotte Mason (19th century educator popular among homeschoolers).

A Prophesy of Future Lawlessness by St. Anatoly the Younger

A Prophesy of Future Lawlessness by St. Anatoly the Younger (+1922)

From a letter of the Optina Elder [and New Martyr] St. Anatoly the Younger

SOURCE: Orthodox Life, #3, 1993

And from that heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many people. The enemy of the human race will act with cunning in order to draw into heresy, if possible, even the elect.

He will not begin by crudely rejecting the dogmas of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ and the virtue of the Theotokos, but he will begin imperceptibly to distort the teachings and statutes of the Church and their very spirit, handed down to us by the Holy Fathers through the Holy Spirit.

Few will notice these wiles of the enemy, only those more experienced in the spiritual life. Heretics will seize power over the Church and will place their servants everywhere; the pious will be regarded with contempt. He (the Lord) said, by their fruits ye shall know them, and so, by their fruits, as well as by the actions of the heretics, strive to distinguish them from the true pastors.

These are spiritual thieves, plundering the spiritual flock, and they will enter the sheepfold (the Church), climbing up some other way, using force and trampling upon the divine statutes. The Lord calls them robbers (cf. St. John 10:1). Indeed, their first task will be the persecution of the true pastors, their imprisonment and exile, for without this it will be impossible for them to plunder the sheep.

Therefore, my son, when you see the violation of patristic tradition and the divine order in the Church, the order established by God, know that the heretics have already appeared, although for the time being they may conceal their impiety, or they will distort the Divine Faith imperceptibly, in order to succeed better in seducing and enticing the inexperienced into the net.

The persecution will be directed against not only pastors but against all servants of God, for all those ruled by heresy will not endure piety. Recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothing by their proud dispositions and love of power. They will be slanderers, traitors, everywhere sowing enmity and malice; therefore the Lord said that by their fruits you will know them. True servants of God are humble, love their neighbor and are obedient to the Church.

Monastics will be greatly oppressed by the heretics and monastic life will be scorned. Monasteries will become scarce, the number of monastics will decline, and those who remain will endure violence. These haters of monastic life, however, having only the appearance of piety, will strive to attract the monks to their side promising them protection and worldly goods, and threatening those who oppose them with expulsion.

These threats will cause great despair among the fainthearted, but you, my son rejoice that you have lived until that time, for then the faithful who have not shown any other virtues, will receive crowns merely for standing firm in the faith, according to the word of the Lord (cf. St. Matthew 10:32).

Fear the Lord my son. Fear to lose the crown prepared (for you), fear to be cast by Christ into the outer darkness and eternal torment. Stand bravely in the faith, and if necessary, endure persecution and other sorrows, for the Lord will be with you… and the holy martyrs and confessors, they will look upon you and your struggle with joy.

But woe to the monks in those days who will be bound with possessions and riches, who because of love of peace will be ready to submit to the heretics. They will lull to sleep their conscience, saying, “We are preserving and saving the monastery and the Lord will forgive us.” The unfortunate and blind ones do not at all consider that through heresy the demons will enter the monastery and then it will no longer be a holy monastery, but merely walls from which grace will depart.

God, however, is mightier than the enemy, and He will never leave His servants. True Christians will remain until the end of this age, only they will choose to live in secluded, deserted places. Do not fear sorrows, rather fear pernicious heresy, for it strips us of grace and separates us from Christ. This is why the Lord commanded us to consider the heretic as a pagan and a publican.

And so my son, strengthen yourself in the grace of Jesus Christ. Hasten to confess the faith, to endure suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (cf II St. Timothy 2:13), Who has 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, be honor, glory, and dominion unto the ages of ages. Amen.

End Time Instructions by St. Ambrosy of Optina

END TIME INSTRUCTIONS by St. Ambrosy of Optina (+1891)

SOURCE: St. Ambrosy, Elder of Optina, “End Times and Now Collection of Writings”

[edited from the original translation to improve sentence structure]

Saint Ambrosy (also known as Starets Ambrosy) is one of the better known starets of Optina.  The Russian Orthodox Church declared him a saint in 1988 and his memory is celebrated on October 10th.

My child, know that in the last days hard times will come; and as the Apostle says, behold, due to poverty in piety heresies and schisms will appear in the churches; and as the Holy Fathers foretold, then on the thrones of hierarchs and in monasteries there will be no men to be found that are tested and experienced in the spiritual life. Wherefore, heresies will spread everywhere and deceive many. The enemy of mankind will act skillfully, and whenever possible he will lead the chosen ones to heresy. He will not begin by discarding the dogmas on the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Jesus Christ, or the Theotokos, but will unnoticeably start to distort the Teachings of the Holy Fathers, in other words the teachings of the Church herself. The cunning of the enemy and his “tipics” (ways) will be noticed by very few — only those that are most experienced in spiritual life. Heretics will take over the Church, everywhere, and they will appoint their servants, and spirituality will be neglected. But the Lord will not leave His servants without protection. Truly, their real duty is persecution of true pastors and their imprisonment; for without that, the spiritual flock may not become captured by the heretics. Therefore, my son, when you see in the Churches mocking of the Divine act, of the teachings of the Holy Fathers, and of God’s established order, know that the heretics are already present.  Be also aware that, for some time, they might hide their evil intentions, or they might covertly deform the divine faith, so that they better succeed by deceiving and tricking the inexperienced.

They will persecute pastors and the servants of God alike, for the devil who is directing the heresy cannot stand the Divine order. Like wolves in sheep skin, they will be recognized by their vainglorious nature, love for lust, and lust for power.  All those will be betrayers, causing hatred and malice everywhere; and therefore the Lord said that one will easily recognize them by their fruits. The true servants of God are meek, brother-loving 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 decrease. The ones remaining will endure violence. These haters of the monastic life, who merely have the appearance of piety, will strive to draw monks to their side, promising them protection and worldly goods (comforts), but threatening with exile 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 who possess no other virtues will receive wreaths for merely remaining steadfast in their 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, and don’t lose this wreath so as to not be rejected by Christ into the utter darkness and eternal suffering. Bravely stand in faith, and if necessary, joyfully endure persecutions and other troubles, for only then will the Lord stand by you…and the holy Martyrs and the Confessors will joyfully watch 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 by 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 then it will no longer be a holy monastery, but bare walls from which Grace will depart forever.

But God is more powerful than the 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 us from Christ, wherefore Christ commanded us to consider the heretic and let him be unto thee as a heathen man and publican.

And so, strengthen yourself, my son, in the Grace of Christ Jesus. With joy, hasten to confession and endure the suffering like Jesus Christ’s good soldier who was told: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the wreath of life”.

 

 

Prophecies of Starets Lavrentii

The PROPHECIES of Starets Lavrentii (+1950)

From ‘Prepodobnyistarets’ [“The Venerable Elder”], originally published in the May 1996 issue of the Russian Orthodox newspaper ‘Zhizn Vechnaya’ [“Eternal Life”]

The Second Coming of Our Lord!

Starets (Elder) Lavrentii was a Schema-Archimandrite monk at the Chernigov-Trinity Convent. With his illumining gift of clairvoyance, he served as a guide for hundreds of monastics and laity struggling to find their way through the manifest entanglements of early 20th century life. He reposed in 1950.

=== === ===

YOU WILL LIVE TO SEE ANTICHRIST!

Accompanied by two keleinitsy [lay-sisters], the igumeny [abbess] of the Domnitskaya Convent came to have tea with batiushka [father (dim. aff.)] Lavrentii. During dinner, he said: “You and I, matushka – igumenya [abbess-mother (dim. aff.)], will not live to see antichrist; but, these — your kelelnitsy, will live to see him!” That was in 1948. Both nuns had been born in 1923. Monakhinya [nun] N. was the one who told the story.

I NEED TO SEE

Whenever Fr. Lavrentii would sit down at table to dine, while waiting for everyone to gather together, he would say: “I am not hungry, but I need to see you all, and to speak with you a little concerning what lies ahead for all of you.” Then he would weep and say: “If you but knew what fate awaits men and what lies ahead for you. If you but knew how people suffer in hell!”

AND HOW HE WILL RECOIL!

This was recorded from the words of Sister M. Batiushka Lavrentii would say: “Do not be astonished when you hear that people are praying in every which way in the churches. When those in their golden-caps [archi- and proto-hieratical mitres] forbid the reading of the Psalter — and, later, of the hours — then will the Lord endure but a little; and, O how He will then recoil from them! The Second Coming is now no longer far-distant!”

REMEMBER THIS!

“This happened when my father was yet alive,” I. M. would recall, concerning her conversation with batiushka Lavrentii. “We were extremely poor, incapable of regaining our senses after the destruction of the war. I went to see starets [elder] Lavrentii, in order to ask him to bless me, that I might secretly wear a podriasnik [an under-cassock, (to be a secret nun)]; but he said to me: “Not all who are in the world will perish; nor will everyone in a monastery be saved! Do you understand? It is not yet time.” Again I began to implore him [to grant me his permission] to enter a women’s monastery, for it is so extremely difficult for one to save oneself in the world, but batiushka said to me: “Monks and schema-monks in the monasteries will attain unto the seventh Heaven; but if you only knew what awaits those virgins who live in the world! The Lord will tell those schema-bearers to make way for these secret ones who did not live in a monastery. And these latter will exceedingly precede the former ! Do you understand that, before God, the secret ones will be superior to those in the monasteries? Do you understand?” the starets asked. “I understand nothing,” was my reply. “Then remember what I just told you, at least!” batiushka said.”

IF ONE LIVES ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF LOVE

A certain pious widow had a dream: “I saw, as it were, batiushka Lavrentii of Chernigov in the Trinity Convent, with its inhabitants. There were many sisters there, and the choir was chanting: “Rejoice, O Tsaritsa”. Then, suddenly, the starets rose up in the air, but there were only a few matushki (mother nuns) with him seven or eight total! I ran to ask him: “Why had so few nuns risen up?”, but upon uttering these words, I awoke, without having received an answer.”

”When I went to see Fr. Lavrentii, he said: “It is as you dreamed it! Had they lived in accordance with the Law of Love, then everything would have been fine. If someone has a piece of bread, it is in order that he might share it with another, who would then offer up a prayer for him. Thus, both would receive their largesse, and all would have been saved! But, with us, it is just the opposite: the one who has the piece of bread stirs up great rows. That is why there are so few who are lifted up, because there is no love!”

FEW ARE SAVED

The venerable Fr. Lavrentii of Chernigov would frequently repeat that souls go to hell just like people come out of a church on a feastday; but they go to Heaven like people go to church on a weekday. Batiushka would frequently sit and weep: he pitied the people who were perishing. “How many people there are, who are packed in the inferno like herring in a barrel,” starets Lavrentii would say. His spiritual children would console him, but he would reply, through his tears: “You do not see. If you could but see… How pitiful it is! And in the last days, hell will be filled with young people.”

TWIRL THIS AROUND YOUR MOUSTACHE

“And I say unto you, and with great regret do I say it, that you will be buying houses, and killing time by adorning large and lovely monastic buildings. But you will have no time for prayer, although you made a vow of non-possession! It will not be difficult to be saved during the last days, but wisely so. The one who overcomes all these temptations, the same will be saved! Such one will be among the first. The former will be like unto lamps; the latter will be like the sun. You have other dwellings prepared for you. So listen, and twirl this around your moustache!” Thus did the venerable starets, gazing into the future with his perspicacious mind, admonish his many, many spiritual children.

A FRIGHTFUL TIME

“Not long before antichrist is enthroned, even those churches that have been closed will be repaired and restored — not only their exteriors, but their interiors, as well. They will gild the cupolas of bell-towers and cathedrals, alike; and when they have completed the main one, then will the time have come for antichrist to be enthroned. Pray that the Lord might lengthen that time, that we might be encouraged and sustained; it is a frightful time that awaits us. The restoration of the cathedrals will continue up to the very moment that antichrist is crowned. We will have unprecedented splendour,” Starets Lavrentii would say.

“Do you see how craftily and insidiously all this is being prepared?” Batiushka would continue, tearfully. “All the cathedrals will be exceedingly splendid, as never before, but you must not attend these cathedrals, for the Bloodless Sacrifice of Jesus Christ will not be offered there. Remember, there will be churches, but Orthodox Christians must not attend them, as the entire ‘synagogue of Satan’ (Apoc. 2.9) will be gathered there! I repeat yet again that one must not attend those cathedrals; there will be no grace in them!”

CONCERNING ANTICHRIST

“Antichrist will be crowned king in a splendid rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, with the clergy and the Patriarch of Russia participating [in his coronation]. There will be free ingress and egress from Jerusalem for everyone, but do not attempt to go there then, as everything will have been done so as to ‘deceive.’ (Matt. 24.24) He [antichrist] will be exceedingly learned in all satanic wiles and will show great signs. The entire world will hear and see him. He will ‘stamp’ his people with satan’s seal; he will hate Orthodox Russia,” the venerable Starets Lavrentii of Chernigov would say.

THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AFRAID

To a certain deacon who is yet alive, but who is now quite aged, Batiushka Lavrentii forthrightly said:

“You will live to see the time when antichrist comes to power. Do not be afraid, but tell everyone that this is he — and that there is no need to be afraid! There will be a war, and where it passes, there will be none left alive! But, prior to that time, the Lord will send minor ailments to the weak and they will die, for during antichrist’s time there will no longer be any death. The Third World War will not be for repentance, but for annihilation; but the Lord will leave the strongest alive, that they might confront him [antichrist].

THE SUPREME “PEACE-MAKER”

The venerable Starets Lavrentii of Chernigov spoke frequently of antichrist, saying:

“There will come a time when they will fight and fight, and a world war will break out. And in the very thick of it, they will say, ‘Let us choose for ourselves a single king over all the inhabited earth.’ And they will elect him! They will elect antichrist as the universal king and supreme ‘peace-maker’ of the world. It will be necessary to listen carefully; it will be necessary to exercise caution! As soon as they begin to vote for one single man in all the world, know that it is none other than himself, and that it is forbidden [to Orthodox Christians] to vote [for him].”

ALL [MY] WORDS ARE TRUE!

Batiushka Lavrentii was sitting in the choir-loft, speaking of the last days and of the end of this world, relating the details of antichrist’s enthronement over those who have fallen away from God… And priests Nikifor, Grigorii and Vasilii Ganzin objected to Fr. Lavrentii that he had also spoken differently concerning these things. But he replied to them: “Fathers and brothers, there is one thing that you neither know nor understand; I speak not only of Russia, but of the whole world! All my words concerning future events are true, because the Holy Spirit has revealed them to me by [His] grace.”

FOR A SHORT WHILE

Schema-Archimandrite Feofan related that Batiushka Lavrentii would joyfully say, with a smile: “The Russian people will repent of deadly sins: that they allowed … [antichristian] impiety to hold sway in Russia; that they did not defend God’s Anointed Tsar, the Orthodox churches and monasteries, and all that is holy and sacred in Russia. They despised piety and came to love demonic impiety. But there will be a spiritual upheaval! And Russia, together with all the Slavic nations and lands, will constitute a mighty Tsardom. She will be governed by an Orthodox Tsar, by God’s Anointed One. Because of him, all schisms and heresies will vanish away in Russia. There will be no persecution of the Orthodox Church. The Lord will have mercy on Holy Russia because the dreadful time preceding that of antichrist has already taken place in her. Even antichrist himself will fear the Russian Orthodox Tsar – Samoderzhets [Tsar – Autocrat]. But all the other nations, save only Russia and the Slavic lands, will be ruled by antichrist and will undergo all the horrors and torments written of in Holy Scripture. In Russia, however, there will be rejoicing and a blossoming of faith — but only for a short while, for the Dread Judge will come to try both the living and the dead.”

CONCERNING ANTICHRIST’S PERSON IN THE HOLY PLACE

“Blessed and thrice-blessed is the man who will not desire to do so and, hence, will not see the God-abominated person of antichrist. Whosoever will see him and hear his blasphemous words promising all earthly blessings, the same will be seduced and will go forth to worship him. And they will perish, along with him, as far as eternal life is concerned; they will burn in eternal fire!” We asked the venerable one, “How shall this be?” And he answered us with tears, [saying]:”The abomination of desolation will stand in the holy place and will show-forth the foul seducers of the world who, working false miracles, will deceive all such men as have fallen away from God. And, after them, antichrist will appear! The entire world will see him at one and the same time.” To the question “Where in the holy place — in church?” venerable Lavrentii said; “Not in church, but in the home! Beforetimes, a table used to stand in the corner wherein the holy icons were. Then, however, that space will be occupied by seductive instruments for the deception of men. Many who have departed away from the Truth will say, ‘we need to watch and hear the news.’ And it is in the news that antichrist will appear; and they will accept him.”

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