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On Faith
On seeking the Heavenly Realm

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. How should we, first of all, seek the kingdom of God? In the following manner: let us suppose that you wish to travel somewhere on some earthly, temporal need, - before starting out, pray to God to set straight the paths of your heart, and after that your forthcoming physical journey, or to direct the path of your life in accordance with His commandments, and wish it with all your heart, and renew such a prayer as often as possible. Seeing your sincere desire and attempt to walk in His commandments, the Lord will gradually set straight all your paths.

Furthermore, if you wish to have fresh air in your rooms, or if you go out for a breath of fresh air, think of pure and impure hearts. Many of us are keen on freshening the air in our abodes (and that is very proper) or taking walks out in the air, but do not think of the need for having a pure soul or heart (spiritual air, the breath of life) and, living in fresh air, allow ourselves impure thoughts, impure movements of the heart, or even foul language and foul deeds.

If you are seeking physical light, - think of the spiritual light which is necessary to the soul and without which it remains in the darkness of passions, in the darkness of spiritual death. I am come a light into the world, - says the Lord, - that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness.

If you see or hear the severity or moaning of a storm, or read about shipwrecks, think of the tempest of human passions, which raise up a daily moaning and perturbation in human hearts, which shipwreck individual souls or human society in general, and earnestly pray to the Lord to calm the tempest of sins, as with His word He once calmed the storm on the sea of Galilee, and to eradicate our passions from our hearts and renew in them the necessary silence.

If you experience hunger or thirst, and you wish to eat or drink, think of the hunger and thirst of your soul (it is thirsting for the truth, for justification in Jesus Christ, for sanctification), which, if you do not satisfy them, will cause your soul to die from hunger, oppressed by passions, weakened, tormented, and as you satisfy your physical hunger, be primarily concerned with satisfying your spiritual hunger by means of conversation with God (prayer), sincere repentance of sins, reading of the Gospel, and especially partaking of the divine Mysteries of the body and blood of Christ.

If you love to dress up, or while dressing yourself, think of the incorruptible garment of truth in which our soul should be attired, or of Jesus Christ, Who is our spiritual garment, as it is said: As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Passion for dandyism often completely pushes out of our hearts even the very thought of the incorruptible garment of the soul, and turns our entire life into a vain pursuit of elegance in dress.

If you are a student of some institute of learning, or an official of some ministry, or an officer in some military unit, or a technician, artist, sculptor, merchant, or a manager of a shop, - remember that we must first of all learn how to be true Christians, sincerely believe in the triune God, converse with God daily through prayer, participate in the divine services, follow the rules and regulations of the Church, and before doing anything, while we are doing anything, and after doing anything, - we must bear Christs name in our hearts, for He is our light, our strength, our sanctity, our support.

From the spiritual diary of St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ.


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