WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE
I presume there are no such people who go to church insincerely: out of self-interest or for a show. All people go to church sincerely, nevertheless, we can’t change, though we want it badly, it ends in no result. It seems to us that God should help our genuine desire and we should achieve something, but we are constantly going around in circles. We cannot overcome our weaker selves and often become desperate and cry, “O Lord, how long shall I bear this? I’m not my own master. What happened to me?” Above all, we need to understand one crucial issue in Christianity, which often cannot be perceived by church-goers. When we come to desperation and cry in tears, “O Lord, why is it not working?” Our Lord gives us the answer: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26). As long as we try to get rid of our sins on our own, we will run around in circles. We will do it eagerly, sincerely, all in tears, but with no result, until we come to realize that with men it is impossible. Stop trying to do it on yourselves. You will not succeed, no one will. Only with God all things are possible. What does it mean? It means we need to put aside our individual “I” and trust everything to God. You can’t pray, can you? Let God pray in you. You can’t deal with your inner vices such as envy, jealousy, anger, judgment of people, can you? No, you can’t. Then, who can? God can. He is not envy, He is not angry, He is not irritation, He is Love. Let God have your heart which through your “I” has got used to be envious, jealous, angry – let God have it, and let His personality – Love act through it. At this point, some people may wonder, “Do I have to give up my own personality then and stop being myself?” In fact, this is the way your personality manifests itself giving way to God: My Lord, let You act, let You think, let You feel in me in a good way. It is a pity to see some Christians going to church for years without understanding how Christ should act through them. St. Apostle Paul pointed out precisely: “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). On the one hand, it sounds weird, but on the other, for those who lived that way, it is natural. I let Christ have my thoughts and feelings. When everything goes through Him, through His great pureness, everything becomes true, humble, righteous, good and simple. O Lord, I can’t do it, please, You act in me. And so that You were in me I keep saying in my heart, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ”. He should be there. There is a beautiful story about St. Ignatius the God-bearer, after he was tortured and his heart cut up, people saw letters “Jesus Christ” on it, such a great impact it had on him.
On Athos they have a tradition of taking already clean bones of fathers three years after their death and putting them carefully into an ossuary. At Karoulia the monks showed me the jaw of a Russian father, which bore an even sign of a cross on its inner part. Yes, it must be a coincidence, but a very pleasant one. His mouth, within 50 or 60 years, through all the time he lived on Athos, must have been pronouncing, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Jesus Christ.”
Our physiology and psychosomatics are also related to spiritual life, so that spiritual influences bodily life. When we look at each other, we always see some undertone. While we look in the eyes of a saint, we raise no questions, don’t we? It’s all very simple and clear.
Glory to Our Lord! Not to us, shame on us, but Glory to God! And, grabbing at Him, we will climb out. Do not try to do it on your own, it’s in vain, even though you set your heart on it. Our “I” put as a “number 1” ruins it all. Our “I” should only be behind God.
Christ works wonders! Christ loves you! Christ is purity! Christ is the truth! Christ is a great simplicity, He is perfection! Take Him away from us and there will be no us. Dirt, clay. When God created us, He took clay, sculptured a lifeless dummy and breathed the Spirit in it. Should He not breathe, we would have stayed clay. He takes the Spirit and we turn into clay again.