Speech on the day of another monastic tonsure
“…All the sisters came to me at one time to be near me, to be instructed, to be inspired, and so to improve themselves. Sometimes I heard from some sisters the alarm: “Father, if suddenly we are separated, if suddenly you are not there for some circumstances, we are anxious, how should we be then?” Mark my word now: It’s not scary at all, but it’s scary if you yourself leave me. No one can separate, and not even death can separate. You can be in my spirit, in my outlook, even if we are far away, even if circumstances separate us. That’s not a big deal at all. You can always be there for me. The scary thing is if today you came to the monasticism, made me throw, told me to be faithful, and after a while, after one thought, a second, a third, you begin to leave – that’s when you will be separated from me. I may be at arm’s length, eye to eye, but you will not be with me – that’s what’s scary.
Everyone very often says in monasticism about obedience: obey, obey… It is impossible to obey if you do not hear, or if you do not want to hear. You can’t obey, believe me. We already have a small, but our own experience. Yes, our monastery is young, only ten years old, but we have our own little experience, and from that experience I tell you: it will not work. I was just reading a prayer, and there were the words: work, pray, abstain, be patient, and at the end the most key word: HOLY. That is the goal of monasticism. Whoever understands all these things in monasticism, but whoever drops this last key word HOLY, he gets some terrible monasticism – a monasticism of some laws, rituals, rules. But in his monasticism, if there is no joy – joy in his relationship with Christ, joy in his relationship with his confessor, joy in his relationship with his sisters – it is not monasticism, it is ugly. If you lose joy just a little bit – this is a reference point for you, that you start to do something wrong, somewhere you allow yourself slyness, somewhere you allow yourself to understate things, you lose joy. AND MONASTICISM IS JOY.
…God give you spiritual joy, that you may have prayer. Prayer is possible only in a heart that is not troubled by thoughts. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God… The sight of God is already heaven. This is the kingdom of heaven. Just looking at God is already heaven.
You want to be led. At some point, take your hand away, say: “That’s it, I’ll go on by myself.” Well, come on, I’ll wait for you later … with bumps, with broken knees … ”
Archpriest Sergiy Baranov
July 4, 2022