I took down this story from the words of a patient. "I was born in
Moscow, christened in infancy, but not raised in the church. I grew a healthy,
active boy, in school I grasped everything at once, was always a good student.
Went to college as an economics major. In the institute, tasting freedom, I
sinned to destruction, which seemed perfectly normal.
At the end of the fourth year I suddenly became overly talkative, lively,
could not sit in one place even for a few minutes. Slept 2-3 hours a day, lost
a lot of weight. After a month this condition somehow quieted down by itself,
maybe because I began to take sedatives. But by the fall of that year
everything began again, but exactly "opposite:" I became depressed, did
not want to live.
By the persistent requests of my parents I turned to a psychiatrist, and
soon I was diagnosed with "manic-depressive psychosis." Many
medicines were prescribed, which I had to drink almost incessantly. I was terribly
disturbed with the label "insane," I feared that this spiritual
illness will become known to my friends and acquaintances.
About this time I first crossed the threshold of a church. My illness led me
to God. The priest who gave me my first confession became very close to me
immediately. I began to attend church services, take Communion. I liked
everything in the church: the singing, the appearance, and the faces of those
praying… I felt like I came to my Father’s house after being away a long time.
But then I got "caught in a whirl," I began to feel
"tolerable," and then I began to attend church less regularly, took
confession less often, and then completely left the Church. Completed the
institute. I had two recurring attacks of the illness. Swallowed tablets, which
the psychiatrist prescribed…
And then one evening the telephone rang. I lifted the phone and could not
believe my ears — the priest called. But where could he get my telephone
number? He did not know my surname, nor my address, only my given name! Soon
surprise was replaced by a feeling of such warmth and peace of the soul, that I
cannot describe it. I felt tears coming, and in my head thoughts were spinning
with kaleidoscopic speed: "Lord! How could I leave you? Why did I stop going
I became ashamed. But these were my feelings only. The priest asked if I was
ill and did I require any assistance from him. He said something else very
simple and warm, gave me his blessing and said farewell. Imagine, he did not
rebuke me for anything, on the contrary, he was so kind and friendly.
I did not sleep almost all night, I thought much. Looking at the icons, I
prayed and cried, asked the Lord’s forgiveness. Towards morning I had the
thought that I must return to the church and deeply repent. I read somewhere
that such a confession is called "general" — of your whole life. The
Lord permitted me to repent this way. I will not describe my spiritual state at
that moment, but I will only say that I felt like some ice floe fell from my
soul. And… the illness departed. In the course of several years I was for all
intents and purposes healthy. The doctors were surprised and wondered:
"How could this be?"
Later on I visited psychiatrists, but I never again felt the acuteness of
the symptoms of the illness. Repentance — is a great blessing, granted us by
the Lord. Thank God for everything!"
In the years of medical work I, like many of my Orthodox colleagues, have
seen marvelous and miraculous examples of God’s help to people. The Lord, His
Most Holy Mother, his saints, grant healing help abundantly according to the
faith of those suffering. Strictly speaking, each event of recovery — is a
great mercy of God. The overcoming of sinful passions is a miracle and cannot
be called anything else, such as, for example, when the adulterer begins to
lead a virtuous life, and the drunk or drug addict gain deep faith, become
enchurched. I have often witnessed how a mother’s repentance gained the health
and even the miraculous salvation of a child’s life. In my years of medical
practice I have seen many recoveries from incurable, from a medical standpoint,
diseases, acute illnesses. The given example — is only one of many like it.
Marvelous are your deeds, O Lord!
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