Saturday, March 19, 2011

Great Lent Week 2 Meditation

The Archangel Salathiel "Prayer of God" - can be purchased at Not Of This World Icons.
The following quote is from St. Seraphim of Sarov's beautiful conversation with the layperson Nicholas Motovilov in 1831.  I posted once before about it here.  It's a discussion about the aim of the Christian life.  If you would like to read the conversation in its entirety here's the link again:  A Wonderful Revelation to the World

The excerpt below from the conversation speaks of good works, which is the focus of this blog during Great Lent 2011.  It teaches us not to despair if our good intentions cannot come to fruition, because there is always an alternative. 
Of course, every good deed done for Christ's sake gives us the grace of the Holy Spirit, but prayer gives it to us most of all, for it is always at hand, so to speak, as an instrument for acquiring the grace of the Spirit.  For instance, you would like to go to church, but there is no church or the service is over; you would like to give alms to a beggar, but there isn't one, or you have nothing to give; you would like to preserve your virginity*, but you have not the strength to do so because of your temperament, or because of the violence of the wiles of the enemy which on account of human weakness you cannot withstand; you would like to do some other good deed for Christ's sake, but either you have not the strength or the opportunity is lacking.  This certainly does not apply to prayer.  Prayer is always possible for everyone, rich and poor, noble and humble, strong and weak, healthy and sick, righteous and sinful.
....Great is the power of prayer, and it brings most of all the Spirit of God and is most easily practiced by everyone...
 * an editor's note:  preserving your virginity here means that you would like to remain unmarried.

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