St. Seraphim of Sarov: Hope

All who have firm hope in God are raised up to Him and are enlightened by the radiance of the Eternal Light. If a man has no care what-so-ever for himself because of love for God and virtuous deeds -knowing that God will take care of him- such hope is true and wise. But if a man takes care for is own affairs and turns with prayer to God only when unavoidable misfortunes overtake him and he sees no way of averting them by his own power (only then beginning to hope in God’s help), then such hope is vain and false. True hope seeks God’s Kingdom alone and is convinced that everything earthly (that is necessary for this transitional life) will be given without fail. 

The heart cannot have peace until it acquires this hope. It gives peace to the heart and brings joy to it. Concerning this hope, the most venerable and holy lips of the Savior have said, “come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). That is, “have hope in Me, and you will have relief from your labor and fear”.

In the Gospel of Saint Luke, it is said of Symeon: “and it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26). And, he did not kill his hope, but awaited the desired Savior of the world- and joyfully taking Him into his arms, said, “Lord, now let Thou Thy servant depart into Thy Kingdom, which I have desired, for I have obtained my hope: Christ the Lord”. 

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