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To those who say: "I donít see God."

Would you like to know a person who never demanded anything for himself from life and was always happy with his lot; who never worried about his health ó but was always full of energy, was always vigorous even nearly without any rest; didnít have riches yet gave away thousands; treated the gravely ill without reference to any medicines; never sought glory but was known to all the people; never sought any pleasures and was always joyous; who always has peace in his heart, predisposition toward people, devoid of malice, envy, animosity, feelings of umbrage: full of humility yet performs great deeds; whose mind is lucid and whose heart is open to all; who lives his own deep internal life and at the same time, full of active love for both those close and distant to him?

Such was Saint John of Kronstadt, a contemporary to the current older generation. From where did the Kronstadt pastor draw his strength? Father John responds to this question a number of times in his diary with one and the same expression: "The Lord is everything to me." Here are his words:

"Whatever calms me both in thoughts and in my heart, is submitted graphically into my memory for the continual tranquillity of my heart, among lifeís concerns and bustle. So what is it? That is the Christian, full of living trust and wonderful, calming power of the statement: the Lord is everything to me. Here is the priceless treasure! Here is a preciousness, with which one can be calm in any situation, with which one can be rich in poverty, and with the acquisition of wealth ó generous, and be affable with people; with which even after sinning, one doesnít lose hope. The Lord is everything to me."

"The Lord is everything to me: He is the strength of my heart and light of my mind; He directs my heart toward everything that is good; He strengthens it; and He gives me righteous thoughts; He is my tranquillity and joy; He is my faith, hope and love; He is my food, my drink, my attire, He is my abode. Just as a mother is to an infant: the willpower, sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and food, drink, attire, hands and legs, ó so is the Lord all this for me, when I totally submit myself to Him.

"The Lord is more perfect than all the goodness, what I think, feel or do. O, how boundlessly wide is the Lordís active grace within me! The Lord is everything to me, and so clear, so constant. Mine ó is only my sinfulness, mine ó are only my sins.

"The Lord is my being, the Lord is the deliverance from eternal death, the Lord is my eternal life, the Lord is the cleansing and deliverance from many sins and is my enlightenment, the Lord is the strength against my weaknesses, in my pusillanimity and despondency, the Lord is the life-giving fire in my coldness, the Lord is the light in my darkness, the serenity in my apprehensions, the Lord is the protector in my temptations. He is my thoughts, my aspirations, my activity ó love and thank the Lord incessantly! Praise the Lord my soul, and donít forget all His rewards that cleanse all your iniquities, cure all your infirmities, endows you with kindness and generosity, that fulfils all your good requests."

"The Lord is everything to us, and we by ourselves can do very little."

This is the source of strength and happiness and life that Saint John sees for himself, and which he is pointing out to us.

"Here stands a living person before us: his eyes are focused on us, his ears alert and listening; before us is his body and soul, which we see his body but not his soul. Meanwhile, while we do not see his thoughts, his desires, intentions, there isnít an instant that his soul was not thinking and living according to its lifestyle. In precisely the same manner, there is a visible nature before, near and inside us, the whole wonderful world of God; we see life in it everywhere, harmonious order, activity ó yet we do not see the Cause of life and order, we donít see the Artist. But in the meantime, He is there at all times and in every place, just like the soul in a body, only not confined by it. There isnít a short moment in which He, as the All-complete Spirit, All-wise, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, did not think, didnít pour blessings and wisdom upon His creation. There is not even a split-second when He doesnít apply His wisdom and omnipotence, because God is a self-activator that is eternally producing. Therefore, in viewing the world, note its Source ó God, as being everywhere in it, as the fulfiller, activator and arranger of everything."

"Godís omnipresence is spatial and mental, i.e. God is everywhere ó in relation to space and thought: wherever I go physically or mentally, I will meet God and He will be before me everywhere."

Arenít these magnificent words, uttered by Saint John, sufficient to convince the doubting mind?

Missionary Leaflet # E77c
Copyright © 2003 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

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