St. Seraphim of Sarov: On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit- Conclusion

“Of the mercy of the Lord God there is no shadow of doubt. You have seen for yourself, your Godliness, how the words of the Lord spoken through the Prophet have been accomplished in us: “I am not a God far off, but a God near at hand” (cp. Jeremiah 23:23), and “thy salvation is at thy mouth” (cp. Deuteronomy 30:12-14; Romans 10:8-13). I had not time even to cross myself, but only wished in my heart that the Lord would grant you to see His goodness in all its fullness, and He was pleased to hasten to realise my wish. I am not boasting when I say this, neither do I say it to show you my importance and lead you to jealousy, or to make you think that I am a Monk and you only a layman. No, no, your Godliness! “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him in truth” (Psalm 144:18) “and there is no partiality with Him” (Ephesians 6:9). For the Father loves the Son and gives everything into His hand (cp. John 3:35). If only we ourselves loved Him, our heavenly Father, in a truly filial way! The Lord listens equally to the Monk and the simple Christian layman provided that both are Orthodox believers, and both love God from the depth of their souls, and both have faith in Him, if only as a grain of mustard seed; and they both shall move mountains. “One shall move thousands and two tens of thousands” (cp. Deuteronomy 32:30). The Lord Himself says: “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). And the holy Apostle Paul loudly exclaims: “I can do all things in Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). But does not our Lord Jesus Christ speak even more wonderfully than this of those who believe in Him: “he who believes in Me, not only the works that I do, but even greater then these shall he do, because I am going to My Father. And I will pray for you that your joy may be full. Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name. But now ask and ye shall receive…” (John 14:12,16; 16:24).

“Thus, your Godliness, whatever you ask of the Lord God you will receive, if only it is for the glory of God or for the good of your neighbour, because what we do for the good of our neighbour He refers to His own glory. And therefore He says: “all that you have done unto one of the least of these, you have done unto Me” (cp. Matthew 25:40). And so, have no doubt that the Lord God will fulfill your petitions, if only they concern the glory of God or the benefit and edification of your fellow men. But, even if something is necessary for your own need or use or advantage, just as quickly and graciously will the Lord be pleased to send you even that, provided that extreme need and necessity require it. For the Lord loves those who love Him. The Lord is good to all men; He gives abundantly to those who call upon His Name, and His bounty is in all His works. He will do the will of them that fear Him and He will hear their prayer, and fulfill all their plans. The Lord will fulfill all thy petitions (cp. Psalms 144:19; 19:4,5). Only beware, your Godliness, of asking the Lord for something for which there is no urgent need. The Lord will not refuse you even this in return for your Orthodox faith in Christ the Saviour, for the Lord will not give up the staff of the righteous to the lot of sinners (cf. Psalm 124:3), and He will speedily accomplish the will of His servant David; but He will call him to account for having troubled Him without special need, and for having asked Him for something without which he could have managed very easily.

“And so, your Godliness, I have now told you and given you a practical demonstration of all that the Lord and the Mother of God have been pleased to tell you and show you through me, poor Seraphim. Now go in peace. The Lord and the Mother of God be with you always, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Now go in peace.”

And during the whole of this time, from the moment when Father Seraphim’s face became radiant, this illumination continued; and all that he told me from the beginning of the narrative till now, he said while remaining in one and the same position. The ineffable glow of the light which emanated from him I myself saw with my own eyes. And I am ready to vouch for it with an oath.

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