Today we celebrate the day of St. Seraphim of Sarov, one of the most beloved, most glorious saints of the Russian Church. However, celebrating the saint’s day means, first of all—amazed as we are at his spiritual beauty—turning to him with the question: How can we follow your example? What can we do in order to learn what you learned, to become someone like you who lived for the glory of God, and after hundreds of years shine with eternal glory?
When he was asked one day, in what does a perishing sinner differ from a righteous man who is saving his soul, a saint, St. Seraphim answered: Only in his resolve… Our salvation is in our will, in our firmness, in the steadfastness of our resolve to be godly to the end. The Lord does not give His Spirit by measure, nor does He give His grace by measure; He gives everything, and He gives Himself. But we receive grace and make use of God’s gifts to the measure of our readiness to receive what He gives—and that means what He gives, and not what we want—and bring forth the fruit that He expects from us.
This would be enough for us to build our whole lives upon the example and words of St. Seraphim. Let each of us pose the question to ourselves: Do we want to be Christ’s? Do we want to be Godly? Do we want to be like those who inspire in us such reverence, such rapture, awe and love, and to whom we turn with our every need, our every pain, and with all our joy? If that is so, then we will in earnest hear, receive, and fulfill this commandment of St. Seraphim: To set out upon the path of the Lord with resolve. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness—only in the human weakness that gives itself to God with resolve to remain faithful to him in life and in death. Amen.