Optina is a good place for lessons in humility. Fr. M., having begun his monastic path there at Optina, knew what he was warning us about.
The guards rushed out of the hall. No one was there. Except for the woman, her head covered with a modest headdress: she was humbly praying the Jesus Prayer.
Divine Light is a scorching fire for sinners, but for those who seek Him they are purifying. Purifying our hearts through repentance, He pours out the light of His Divine Love on us, granting us stillness and peace.
The wave of oncoming sleep instantly vanished. The amazed child had a small eight-pointed star on his palm.
The happy young woman in front of me was rejoicing not only at the survival and healing of her beloved nephew, but most importantly, at the small miracle of God that had occurred. And indeed there was something to rejoice about.
That is why a mother's heart is so sensitive, her prayer is so strong, her curse is so terrible, and her sins and her child’s life are so interdependent.
“Well, now go to the Lady of the chapel—the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God—and pray that everything goes well: both your Baptism and your treatment,” I finished.
She fell prostrate before the Iveron Icon, while I (understanding nothing at that moment except for the terrible fact: what would become of the poor young lady and her baby) began to implore the Most Pure Virgin for help.
“Now I await an operation due to my brain tumor. The doctors don’t promise anything good, and I finally want to be baptized with the full awareness of why and for what purpose, As well as why I have such a disease.”
She was obviously not listening to me, realizing that I could do nothing on the other end of the line. How could I help her in such distress?
I was above my body, and all around were the screams of the doctors: ‘We are losing her! Quickly inject her with a drug, otherwise we won’t be able to resuscitate her.’