Category Archives: St. Seraphim of Sarov

Born: 19 July 1754 in Kursk, Russia
Reposed: 2 January 1833 in Sarov, Russia
Feast Day: 2 January

St. Seraphim of Sarov: One should not think about the doings of God when . . .

St. Seraphim of Sarov“One should not think about the doings of God when one’s stomach is full; on a full stomach there can be no vision of the Divine mysteries.”

+ St. Seraphim of Sarov, “The Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks”, printed in Little Russian Philokalia: St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov: . . . the devil strives to lead a man into despair. . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of SarovJust as the Lord is solicitous about our salvation, so too the murder of men, the devil, strives to lead a man into despair.

A lofty and sound soul does not despair over misfortunes, of whatever sort they may be. Our life is as it were a house of temptations and trials; but we will not renounce the Lord for as long as He allows the tempter to remain with us and for as long as we must wait to be revived through patience and secure passionless!

Judas the betrayer was fainthearted and unskilled in battle, and so the enemy, seeing his despair, attacked him and forced him to hang himself, but Peter, a firm rock, when he fell into great sin, like one skilled in battle did not despair nor lose heart, but shed bitter tears from a burning heart, and the enemy, seeing these tears, his eyes scorched as by fire, fled far form him wailing in pain.

And so brothers, St. Antioch teaches, when despair attacks us let us not yield to it, but being strengthened and protected by the light of faith, with great courage let us say to the evil spirit: “What are you to us, estranged from God, a fugitive from heaven and evil servant? You dare do nothing to us. Christ, the Son of God, has authority both over us and over everything. It is against Him that we have sinned, and before Him that we will be justified. And you, destroyer, leave us. Strengthen by His venerable Cross, we trample under foot your serpent’s head” (St. Antioch, Discourse 27).

+ St. Seraphim of Sarov, “The Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks”, printed in Little Russian Philokalia: St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov: One should not oppose authorities . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov“One should not oppose authorities who act for good, so as not to sin before God and be subjected to His just chastisement: Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves (Romans 13:2).”

+ St. Seraphim of Sarov, “The Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks”, printed in Little Russian Philokalia: St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov: . . . The Lord revealed to me that their souls were having difficulty . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov“Two nuns passed on. Both had been abbesses. The Lord revealed to me that their souls were having difficulty getting through the aerial toll-houses. Three days and nights, I, a lowly sinner, prayed and begged the Mother of God for their salvation. The goodness of the Lord, through the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God, finally had mercy upon them. They passed the aerial toll-houses and received forgiveness of sins.”

– St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov: The Lord sometimes allows people who are devoted . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov“The Lord sometimes allows people who are devoted to Him to fall into such dreadful vices; and this is in order to prevent them from falling into a still greater sin–pride.

Your temptation will pass and you will spend the remaining days of your life in humility. Only do not forget your sin.”

– St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov: One should nourish the soul with the word of God . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov“One should nourish the soul with the word of God: for the word of God, as St. Gregory the Theologian says, is angelic bread, by which are nourished souls who hunger for God. Most of all, one should occupy oneself with reading the New Testament and the Psalter, which one should do standing up. From this there occurs an enlightenment in the mind, which is in the mind, which is changed by a Divine change.”

– St. Seraphim of Sarov, Spiritual Instructions

St. Seraphim of Sarov: Excessive care about worldly matters . . .

Icon of St. Seraphim of Sarov“Excessive care about worldly matters is characteristic of an unbelieving and fainthearted person, and woe to us, if, in taking care of ourselves, we do not use as our foundation our faith in God, who cares for us! If we do not attribute visible blessings to Him, which we use in this life, then how can we expect those blessings from Him which are promised in the future? We will not be of such little faith. By the words of our Savior, it is better first to seek the Kingdom of God, for the rest shall be added unto us (see Mt. 6:33).”

– St. Seraphim of Sarov