Nothing humbles like sickness
My dear Z. and P.!
God’s blessing to you. We received your letter with the lists and gift a long time ago. We have done everything we were supposed to do—we gave the names to the monastery commemoration book, and I also have your lists; I myself commemorate all of your close ones, living and reposed. While our illnesses, yours and mine, should not upset us, for we have already gone out into the final frontier; our podvig of labors is already over, it is left for us only to bear the podvig of illness. I think that this is the most valuable and promising spiritual labor, for nothing humbles a person like sickness.
Now we truly stand before the Lord like babes, with the awareness that we and all of ours are in God’s hands We stretch out our hands to Him, our hearts cry out only to Him, and no ambition or pridefulness about this podvig can stick to us. How good and saving this is!
I rarely go to the services, I pray more at home. But there is much that is valuable in this, because no one distracts me from prayer with their conversations. Well, and as soon as I begin to commemorate, my cell fills up with people: the living as well as the departed, and all are alive, and they all file in and hurry about, reminding me about themselves and their relatives.
I think that the Lord consoles you also for bearing labors for His glory. Do not feel burdened by your domestic “reclusion,” nor by your illnesses which have sent you into this reclusion. All is from God, which means that it is all unto salvation. We have only to thank and praise the Lord for the life we have lived, for its joys and sorrows. The Lord be with you!
With love in the Lord, your poor intercessor,
To save the greater
Dear in the Lord L,!
You need to ask your question to a medical specialist. Only they can know what the possible complications are for the healthy eye. But I will ask you a direct question: “How will you feel if your eye goes completely blind?”
Sometimes in order to save the greater, we have to sacrifice the lesser.
May God give you wisdom!
Healing begins with repentance
Dear in the Lord, M.!
Our illnesses are the result of a sinful life, and healing has to begin with repentance and Unction—this is for the soul. After Unction you need to go to the doctors, so that with God’s help they would also help your ailing body.
Look over your life. Were there any mortal sins (for example, infanticide (meaning, abortion [trans.])), which could have fallen upon your child? If you are guilty, you need to bring forth repentance. Pray continually for your son, but commit yourself and him to God’s will with patience and hope. Especially pray to St. Theodosius of Chernigov.