Maybe the greatest quality of a man who seeks God is patience !
When someone who was downcast came to elder Cleopa, he said: Patience! Patience! Patience!
Patience shows the humbleness of the man who says: God, I have patience and I wait to see Your will is done, not mine!
Many times I put myself in this situation of patience but I advise you to do the same. What I mean is that things must be done with patience! In everything you do, in everything you try, you think, patience is the key. The elders say this: when you want to do a thing, to take an important decision, something to change your life or when you are upset, angry with someone wait at least three days until you take a decision! Why? Because in these three days your fury and stubbornness vanish, your mind becomes clear and you see things in a different way.
More than this, I urge you that when peace is restores to make an agreement with your dear ones and say as follows: `When you see me angry, don’t mind me, because the words said when you are furious have no value! All of them are thrown loosely and carelessly! All of them are said out of revenge, anger, pride and devilish meaningless selfishness! All of them are a sign of helplessness and it would be better for you not to take any decisions under the influence of what I tell you when I am angry because nothing is true!
After the man stays and thinks he understands the scheming of the evil against him and he starts to feel sorry and apologize.
The important decisions are taken sitting at the table, calmly, peacefully or going for a walk in the park…not when you are angry! When you are angry the devil tries will all his might to overturn you and those around you.
The saints are for us the Christian Orthodox examples of patience, humbleness, fulfillment of the will of God and the thought about death, the elders said, is the best teacher for the man…when you think of it, you stand with your feet on the ground and say:
`Why be angry, why be ambitious, why thinking about my rightness, why be angry with someone when I turn to dust and ash anyway? What matters my rightness? How many people had their rightness before me and now they are all only bare bones.
You see most of the times for us life in God means this:
`Father things don’t go so well, I think that God doesn’t love me! Or `Father, I came to make a donation for the church because everything has gone perfectly well for me!` as if God were a businessman who invests with him in his business and brings him profit.
But it’s hard not to do this: when everything goes well to think that God is with you and when everything breaks down to say to yourself that God doesn’t love you anymore, but it’s not about this, it’s about what’s in you.
I give you two examples:
Saint Anthony the Great lived for 20 years in reclusion in a cell without windows, only with a door and a small peep hole from where he received every day a loaf of bread and a cup of water. Do you know how he looked when he got out of that cell? With rosy cheeks and happy, because the time spent with God gives you some spiritual sensations you will never find anywhere else!
Another saint is saint John of Kronstadt.
A married priest, a man living in the world, who is the second great saint from Russia after saint Seraphim of Sarov.
They say that saint John of Kronstadt wore luxurious clothes and when he went out of his house he went in a very beautiful carriage and although he lived in all that luxury he was a saint, he made miracles, he healed especially psychic diseases. He lived very aristocratically but you see his heart was never attached to those things. He lived among these riches but they did not enslave him.
Not richness gives you happiness but your spiritual disposition, your relationship with God. You can have a lot of money and live a life surrounded by riches, travels, parties but these don’t make you spiritually rich.
God gave such a grace to saint John of Kronstadt that he served the Holy Liturgy every day and before he did that he used to stay for an hour or even more in front of the Holy Table and he did not stand up and did not begin the Liturgy until he got tears of repentance crying with those tears the sins of a day. For his repentance and for his inner pain God gave him a great power, because God is not impeded by sight as the man. God doesn’t judge the man after his look, after his clothes, after the car he drives or the house where he lives only after the purity of his heart.
Don’t judge the man after what you see, try to believe that in the man who is near you dwells the Good God, no matter how fat or thin, how sinful would be that man!
If you understand this thing the grace of God will descend upon you and brings peace and what’s the most important thing of all, brings so much power in you that many other people will hold on you due to the gifts God will give you.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov says this thing: `Who saves his soul, saves many other tens or hundreds of people.`
Make a basic experiment: go home sad and upset and you will see that all your family will be filled with sadness. Be glad, merry and full of life and you will see that those around you will be contaminated by these.
It is the same with the grace of God, it is contagious. When you gain it when you gain peace, tens of people gain it too. When you bless and embrace those who curse you, all the people around you are amazed by your joy. The man who has inner peace is not disturbed anymore and doesn’t disturb those around him.
There are fundamental things which you have felt many times yourself, which we experience and feel every day, but maybe you could not understand them and make connection between them.
This is how God works in the man, this is how peace descends and contaminates all people, this is how it is shared from man to man and I have a great joy as a priest when I see that the grace of the Holy Liturgy, its joy is communed by so many people.
Disorder, commotion are signs that you haven’t understood yet, that you did not commune with vigilance and the grace of God has not dwelled in you yet, you are still a worldly man, a man made of flesh and bones, a helpless man
Ask, endure because God does not allow without a reason to be flooded by the bitter water of this life! Open your heart and wait to see why God allows for you to suffer so many troubles or even to bear a man you consider as a nail in your life.
Love, humbleness, the acceptance of the will of God (`God, You allow everything to happen, You brought everything to me, happenings, people, so that everything would work for my salvation, for discovering my own self. I receive everything waiting to see the path You open before me…all these are salvatory.
We can save our souls in the place where God places us…you are a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, a professor, an economist, a politician, an IT specialist, a doctor, a priest, do what you have to do, because everything you do, you do before of God! All the contracts you sign, you sign them with God before everything else, not with the pen, but with the commitment of your soul!
Priest Visarion Alexa