All our concerns about “daily bread” should be equal to what is necessary for our existence, while the main purpose and concern of our earthly life should be to seek an answer to the question of how to spend our lives in a God-pleasing manner and how to acquire the salvation of our immortal souls. All our care for our personal lives should be limited to how to cleanse our sinful soul, how to change it in correspondence to God’s will, and how to avoid the torments of Hades.
The salvation of our own soul is neither a passing whim nor some kind of game. Our lives are too fleeting to treat our immortal soul without effort. We are all mortal, and each of our final hours will come very quickly, when we will stand before God to give an account for the life we have led.
It happens that one can have troubles or temptations, and one’s souls can grieve, or that one can experience financial or material difficulties, or that one can be overcome by grave illness… In all these life difficulties one needs to bend one’s knees before God and pray to Him with contrition of heart, so that not our own will, but rather God’s will, be accomplished. The Lord, by Whose volition and sufferance these temptations have entered our lives, will certainly give man the means or method of overcoming this trial.
In whatever temptation might befall us, if we do not bow our knees before the Lord and tearfully pray for His intercession, it will not depart from us. If at such moments we conduct ourselves nonchalantly and lazily, the temptations will only increase, becoming more threatening to the soul, and ultimately dealing with this sin will become harder and more painful. Only sincere and fervent prayer, voluntarily uttered in contrition of heart and bathed in tears of repentance, will be heard by God. Therefore it does not happen that the Lord would permit someone who is sincerely repentant and who prays to perish. All that Christ desires from us is that we would recognize and understand our profound sinfulness, to know ourselves, to desire to be forgiven by Him, and to love Him sincerely.
In moments when we feel forgotten by God, no matter what we might do, our souls cannot find rest – because all material things are foreign to Him by definition and in essence. And, on the contrary, when the soul becomes accustomed to a Godly life, unceasing prayer, and a virtuous life, it finds God within itself.
Translated from the Russian.