ABOUT UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Sermon on the day of St. Venerable Seraphim of Sarov
Very often, I tell you about such a state of being in grace that brings joy to people. A person walks full of this grace, meets his or her enemies, offenders, all those people who remind of some sorrowful moments in his or her life. This state of grace helps to overcome all difficulties and forget all insults, so, this person comes to meet his enemies and in this state of graceful joy says: “It’s ok. Forget it. Let us forgive each other”.
At the same time, there is another state of some Christians when they go through a deep sorrow and pain, something wrong happens to them, nevertheless, they say: “It’s ok. Let’s forget it. Let’s be patient. All in all, everything will be over”. This is some other sort of state. And it may even be absolutely different from the first one. As the first one is like an inspiration which is easy to be in, while the second one hurts and can be compared to a cross which one bears together with Christ. But this state may occur more deep and durable. For example, someone who has overcome a lot of pain, realizes how it goes with the other one in the similar situation and says: “It’s ok. Let it be”.
We are used to look upon and recollect Holy Father Seraphim as a man of Easter joy. But what price he paid for it! Thousand days and thousand nights! It was his personal cross. He did not just read the Lives of Saints and decided to get famous due to some special act of faith. On no account! This standing on the stone must had been preceded by something: it might have been disappointment in his own, loss of relation between him and God. I guess that was the way. It was not a competition in asceticism, who’s the best, who’s the special one. He was overcoming his pain during a thousand nights on his cross. And only after that was: “My joy, Christ is Risen!”
We so often notice only this in our Holy Father Seraphim, but it always rests between the lines that he was imitating Christ, imitating Him fully. If Christ means cross, pain, great strain, then the Holy Father went through it all. It is a careless and shallow notion of Holy Father Seraphim. It is also a careless perception of God. This relationship may ruin at first resistance. Jesus the Sweetest, I love You so much! But any misunderstanding should happen and there would be no love any more. As a result, here comes disappointment, contradictions, disputes, conflicts. A true love can only be unconditional.