When you have no kind mentors, then you must
submit humbly to the will of God. And then the Lord will make you wiser with
His grace, for the Lord loves us more than words can describe.
It is a great goodness to submit to the will of
God. Then your soul is filled with the Lord only, and it has no other thought,
it prays to God with a special purity, and feels the love of God, even though
the body may suffer. When the soul has submitted wholly to the will of God,
then the Lord Himself begins to lead it, and the soul learns directly from God,
where before it had learnt from teachers and Scripture. But it is very rare
that the Teacher of a soul should be the Lord Himself through the Holy Spirit,
and few know of this, except those who live according to the will of God.
The proud do not wish to live according to the
will of God, they prefer to direct their own lives, and they do not understand
that man lacks the capacity to direct his own life without God. And when I
lived in the world and did not know the Lord and His Holy Spirit, I did not
know how much the Lord loved us; I only depended on my own abilities. But when
through the Holy Spirit I felt the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, then my soul submitted to God, and everything wicked that befalls me I
accept with the words, "The Lord watcheth over me, what have I to
fear?" Previously, I could not live like this.
The most precious thing on earth is to know God
and at least in part understand His will. The soul that has felt God must
submit to his will in everything and live before Him in fear and love. In love,
because the Lord is love. In fear, because it must be afraid to insult God by
some evil thought.
How do you know whether you are living according
to the will of God? Here is a sign: if you long for some thing, then you have
not submitted to the will of God, even though you may think that you live
according to His will. Whoever lives according to the will of God does not
concern himself with anything. And if he needs some thing, then he submits
himself and that thing to God; and if he does not receive it, then he remains
content as though he had received it. The soul which has submitted to the will
of God, fears nothing: neither storm nor bandits; nothing. And whatever
should happen, it says, "It is Godís will." If the body is ill, the
soul thinks, "Then I am in need of this illness, otherwise God would not
have given it to me." And so the body and the soul remain at peace.
Any soul that feels burdened by doubt must appeal
to the Lord, and the Lord shall answer it. But in general, this should only be
done in an hour of crisis and confusion; ordinarily, one should appeal to a
confessor, for this is an expression of humility. The Lord has provided for the
Holy Spirit to be present on earth, and those in whom He lives feel Heaven in
their hearts. Perhaps you ask, why do I not feel such grace? Because you have
not submitted to the will of God, but live according to your own.
We must always pray, so that the Lord will tell us
what we must do, and the Lord will not leave us in confusion. Adam was unwise
not to ask the Lord about the fruit brought to him by Eve, and so lost Eden.
David did not ask the Lord, "will it be good if I take for myself the wife
of Uriah?" and so fell into the sins of murder and adultery. And so all
the saints who have sinned, sinned because they did not call upon God for help
and spiritual guidance. Saint Serafim of Sarov once said, "When I spoke of
my own mind, I made mistakes."
If you speak or write of God, then pray and ask
the Lord for help and guidance, and the Lord will aid and teach you. And if you
are bewildered, bow three times and say, "Merciful Lord, You see that my
soul is confused, and I fear falling into sin, guide me, oh Lord." And the
Lord will certainly direct you because He is very close to you. If you doubt
this, then you will not receive that for which you ask. Thus the Lord said to
Peter, "Why did you doubt, you of little faith" (Matthew 14:31), when
Peter began to drown in the water. It is the same with the soul that begins to
drown in evil thoughts when it enters into doubt.
And so, only the Lord knows all; as for us,
whoever we are, we must pray to God for enlightenment and turn to our spiritual
confessors, so as not to make mistakes.
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