DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME
St. John of Kronstadt Cathedral, Gai City, 31.12.2022
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!
I congratulate you with the coming New Year. It is a very bright and cheerful feast in one’s childhood, while with aging, we become more reserved. Our emotions come down and we remain in a kind of medium state, as the Lord may grant to us. We realize we need to thank God for the past year, which He gave us to live through. There was something good and something bad in it. We thank God for having, perhaps, one more year of our life, which we will not waste, but which we will use like a good servant multiplying our spiritual assets.
One may live and constantly lose time. A day has passed and that’s it. The fact that time goes by is an unalterable law. The difference is that someone is gaining in the course of time and someone is always losing and does not redeem time. We are short of time. Someone multiples his or her earthly wealth. Well, at least this, at least they work on this. Some people do not even apply their efforts to gain earthly things. They simply lie on a couch in front of the TV criticizing all and everyone: the government, their friends, neighbors, and the city administration. I could understand if they worked all day long. There are different cases. People come to confess and I hear different stories of life. It happens that a person is hard working; this poor man works and works, but the Lord gives him a very sorrowful life and nothing is getting on at all. This happens not because he is lazy, but because it happens. However, there is another kind of grievers over their destiny, who do not do anything themselves and accuse every one of their sorrows. They keep complaining, and complaining, and complaining. I always want to tell them, “Get up and do something.”
Once I was in hospital with an old man who told me, “I am a retired man and once in three days I go keep watch as a watchman. I earn three thousand. My young neighbor sits on a bench and laughs at me, “Uncle Alik, you are a stupid man, you work for only three thousand.” To which I say, “Sasha, and you sit from morning till night drunken and live off your mother’s pension. You even manage to drink off her pension. Bring her at least three thousand and make her happy.”” He also said, “The matter is not about the three thousand. The point is that God looks at me and sees that I am not lazy, that I work even being retired, as much as I can. I can go and buy some sweets for my grandchildren for these three thousand. All in all, it is good I am not a lazy man.”
With the course of time, we do not celebrate holidays that recklessly. Especially New Year holidays. Children have less behind them and more ahead. They live in a state when their parents take all their sorrows, troubles, and problems upon themselves. Children simply wallow in their parent’s care. The whole life seems to be easy and careless to them. They do not even suppose what sorrows their parents go through to make their life easier. When people grow up they involuntarily immerse themselves into the problems of life. A year passed, and we do not only recollect what good things we had this year, but involuntarily we begin to recollect whom we lost this year, who is gone, and that we had not only happy, but sorrowful events in it. These are the prosaic details of everyday life. These are the facts of adult life. The more we live, the more we lose, and there remains less and less of time.
A person begins to feel time, to sense it. Time becomes tight and tangible. For children it is blurry like a pink cloud. While adults perceive time as something tangible: it ends, it passes away, and it comprises much sorrow. Having sorrows in our life is law. A faithful person understands the point of sorrow. While an unbeliever cannot fathom the providence of God. This is why he becomes puzzled, protests, falls into despair, and quarrels with God. This quarrel causes him pain too. This sorrow of quarrel with God adds to the sorrow, which already exists as a fact. He does not understand God and protests. Any protest brings sorrow and pain. Any quarrel brings sadness instead of happiness. Above all, a quarrel with God. At the same time, a faithful person comes into the vision of God, understands, and sees the providence of God everywhere. Both in happiness and in sorrow he always sees the wise providence of God. Because of this, he feels no pain at all. His pain simply diminishes, as he understands its meaning. He bears it and he agrees to it.
Happy New Coming Year to you! May God give you a long life, so you will be a good and obedient girl. Your life will be happy then. If you grow up naughty, your life will be bad. But we believe you will be a good, kind, modest, and obedient girl. You will have many friends then and your main friend will be God. And I will turn green with friendly envy.
Congratulations on the coming holiday! Sense time. Do not waste your time. How few people we have now… What is the population of Gai now? 38 thousand. How many people do we have here today? About 30? 38 thousand and 30 people. Look, the difference is drastic. So few people on the eve of the New Year, especially, on the eve of the year, which is not going to be calm, on the eve of the year, which takes all the pain and sorrow of the previous one: the fear of war and instability. Those people who say, “I will not think about this” are insane. Well, you will not think about this, and this will pass by you? On the contrary, think. Think how you will live in this situation. Think.
30 people and 38 thousand. Well, perhaps 30 more people have come to Father Vitalis too. But in relation to 38 thousand… this is a state of some… obnubilation.
Congratulations on the coming holiday.