There is a constant struggle between Heaven and earth playing out in our hearts. Taking every next step in life, we must firmly decide what to dedicate it to, what to expend our strength, our aspirations, and hopes on. At the same time, the world—earthly needs and cares, behind which lurk the devil’s charms, constantly strive to divert all the best powers of the human soul.
The peace that faith brings into our lives is impossible to understand for someone who does not seek Christ. This peace is very far from any idea of an outwardly tranquil course of life and the comfort of a fickle reality that people far from the faith usually imagine when they think of peace.
The problem often arises before Christians of how to prove the truth of their convictions, to instruct apostates, or help the doubting. The example of St. John the Baptist’s life speaks clearly about how every Christian has it within his power to work the miracle that people so need.
Overall, the entire life of a Christian is a labor of faith. He must learn to see the hand of God the Creator and Almighty behind the confluence of circumstances and happenstances, and then the question of justice will sound different.
And so we see the patristic understanding of the prophecy of our Savior on the ultimate fate of the world is essentially opposed to that myth about the Apocalypse which is actively propagandized in the mass consciousness.
We see in the image of St. John the Baptist a remarkable example of Christian courage. It is the courage to live in the presence of Truth, to witness to Him by his life, but to always remember that not our life has meaning, not our words or deeds, but the ability to be unnoticeable, to sacrifice even our own authority and reputation before Him.
The life and labors of the holy Right-Believing Prince Daniel of Moscow are an example of true Christian courage for us, worthy of the memory not only of rulers and politicians, but even the most ordinary Christians. It was courage—to love against all odds and to remain faithful to the evangelical commandments when the logic of events happening around us negate it. History again and again justifies the truth that the most solid foundation for every work is the rock of the love of Christ.
The power of God does not leave those who with the virtue of patience and gratitude to the Trinity endure all their difficult circumstances in life, whether from their external environment or even from their own nature. Humble honesty and hope in the Lord will not be put to shame.
In this respect, the stories in the lives of the ancient desert dwellers seem so distant and nonsensical in our modern reality that a question might arise: Just how needed and beneficial are these Lives for people in our times?
In this brief episode from the Life of St. Spyridon, just as in other stories connected with his righteous service, the question is answered with particular force as to what language of faith Christians should use when addressing a world that has rejected Christ.
The humble acceptance of what happens as being how it should, and gratefulness for everything God sends is the answer of the mighty, but other-worldly. Here the main strength is not judging, not trying to decide for God what is best for our lives, where we can bring the most benefit.
There are moments when it seems that circumstances are indeed beyond our power, when life breaks down and it’s painful even to look at the world around us. Reality is cruel, and the soul can truly become sick. And no one knows when sorrows will knock at doors of the heart. But we must know in that moment how to answer these unawaited guests…
In the image of St. Xenia everyone can find something familiar and close. It seems that there are no barriers between the saint and the soul of any person—no misunderstandings, or difference of opinions. Just say a word, awaken a feeling in the heart, and you will immediately be heard, understood, consoled…