|Архимандрит Иоанн (Крестьянкин)|
Sorrows are a penance from God
Dear in the Lord, V.!
You are impatient. For, only those who endure to the end will be saved. Yes, and after all, there is reason to endure. The Holy Fathers say that the living children of mothers who killed their own infants take revenge upon their mothers for their brothers and sisters who never saw God’s light. Yes, and there are many other sins, known and unknown, and sorrows are a penance from God, but you have to bear them without murmuring. Your spouse is sick just as his mother was sick, and thus is patience also needed.
Pray for your close ones like this: “God! You know everything, and your love is perfect; take the lives of my suffering husband, V., and my children, maiden E. and youth I. into Thy hands, and do that which I long to do, but cannot. Amen.”
V., we have lived to see such times when only sorrows and sickness can still intercede for our salvation. So learn to love your much-laborious life, and do not look at the gaiety and prosperity in life around you, but rather at the Cross of Christ the Savior ahead.
May God’s blessing be with you.
Consequences of mortal sins
Dear in the Lord, A.!
I received your letter and fulfill your request for prayers. However, I cannot say for what and how long are these trials coming down upon you. This is not a matter for the priest. Unlike you, I am inclined to wonder not what for, but rather why you have been stricken with them.
Although according to your letter to me, if you please, “for what?” could also be applicable. Sins that are committed consciously give rise to illnesses that completely bind a person. Christianity, accepted as a philosophical theory alone, has entered into contradiction with Christian life, and the enemy has acquired freedom of movement. You and your wife were not satisfied with the answers you received from contemporary priests about astrology, nor did you accept what spiritual fathers of the past have written on the subject, and, well, now if you do not believe in the practical result of your delusions, you have no one to blame but your own self.
The Lord has given everything, he has exhausted all possibilities to make you understand, and now here is the final one. It remains only for you to re-think everything in your life—with respect to the Faith, to Holy Scripture, to the Church, to life, to women—to re-think absolutely everything, to be horrified at your error and repent deeply, not theoretically, but from the heart, to see yourself as you really were in life. The consequences of mortal sins are even more serious for those who commit them knowingly. Couldn’t this be the cause that has stricken you down onto your bed of pain and hastens your departure from life? You need to repent, confess, receive Divine Unction, and commit yourself to God. I promise only to pray for you, so that the Lord would give you repentance and relieve your illness.
God’s blessing be to you.
Ease epilepsy with the Sacraments
Dear in the Lord, S.!
Every illness is the result of sin, but there are illnesses of the spirit, and illnesses of the body. Epilepsy is incurable. But you can ease this illness with yearly Unction and frequent Communion.
Therefore pray for your son, give alms at the Liturgy more often, so that they will cut out a particle [of prosphora for the Eucharist] for him. And he should anoint himself daily with Unction oil, as they do in the Sacrament of Unction. Pray fervently for your son with maternal prayers—this is very effective.
God’s blessing to you.