January 2, 2024

Saint Sophrony of Essex on Saint Seraphim of Sarov

- The grace of God that comes to the saints is so great that the soul is unable to keep it. For that reason they leave the world and the monastery. This happened to Saint Seraphim of Sarov.

(From the book I Know A Man In Christ: Elder Sophrony The Hesychast and Theologian)

- The Divine Liturgy took place once and forever. It has eternality. Every time the Divine Liturgy is performed, we ascend to its height. If we experience some aspects of the Divine Liturgy, then we will understand its grandeur, as happened with Saint Seraphim of Sarov who saw angels entering the church during the Small Entrance.

(From the book I Know A Man In Christ: Elder Sophrony The Hesychast and Theologian)

- Let us now look, for example, at Saint Seraphim. You know that this was a "rebel" monk. He did not want to receive the Great Schema, because in Russia you had to wear it all the time. He did not celebrate the Divine Liturgy and dressed like a peasant. But Saint Seraphim is alive, he did not die, he passed from death to eternal life. Each one of us should die like him, without realizing that he has left the earth, that is, die in a state of prayer. When all our "being" is concentrated in God, our prayer can take on an eternal character and we do not perceive the moment of death. When we are immersed in such prayer, we are no longer sure whether we will return to earth or not. If we cross to the other side in a state of prayer, we will not experience our death, but we will feel that we are alive. When we are constantly in the Last Judgment, we pass from death to eternal life, without realizing that we have died.

(Spoken in French on 10 June 1991; in the book Οικοδομώντας τον ναό του Θεού μέσα μας και στους αδελφούς μας – Volume 2, Homily 72.) 

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