During prayer a sincere seeking after amendment is indispensable.St. John of Kronstadt “My Life in Christ”
Beloved faithful, behold the words of this great luminary of the 20th Century, Saint John of Kronstadt. Outside of sacred scripture, never before has the Church had such a rich investiture as that well-spring of spirituality, the very Will and personal journal of a Saint, My Life in Christ!
Our Lord gifted the faithful with this beacon of piety and virtue in a time when it was needed most. Thanks to the example and counsel of Saint John, Orthodoxy survived the brutal oppression of modernism, Sergianism, Communism, and Ecumenism. He preserved the flame and passed it on to his countless spiritual children and all who had the blessing to see him and hear his words. By our Lord’s Grace, the faithful remembered the words and deeds of the Saint and were able to weather the tempest set upon the Church. The faithful obtained and maintained an Orthodox Mindset.
This mindset begins with prayer. When one wishes to learn about prayer, true noetic prayer, they need look only to Saint John. Prayer is a sincere conversation with our Lord. Without this sincerity, without truth and attentiveness in prayer, we gain nothing. If we read edifying materials yet there is much commotion around us, we find ourselves wondering what we just read. Without focus we make little gains in our reading. So much the more is it in our spiritual lives – our relationship with our Lord.
Maintaining an Orthodox mindset beloved is to always place our Lord before our eyes. It prayer in deeds and words. When we arise in the morning, make the sign of the Cross and then give thanks for the peaceful rest and repose for our toils and labors. In the evening, we give thanks for the peace and progress of the day, asking our Lord to forgive us if we have offended any and asking for the courage to repent on the morrow. We bless our pillow and whisper in our heart, Glory to Thee O Lord, Glory to Thee.
During the day, we maintain an Orthodox Mindset when we give thanks before we eat and after; and we offer prayer before beginning any task. We ever give thanks to our Lord, the Father of Lights and the Begetter and Giver of every good thing. We ponder the parable of our Lord concerning the servant who was forgiven his debt. Do we exact payment as this wicked servant from those who owe us, or do we remember the mercy of his master, who forgave his debt. We remember the words of our Lord to love our God with everything we have and to love our neighbor. We meditate on these commandments and understand that we cannot truly love God if we do not love our neighbors. Shall be likened to Cain, who held back in his offering, or shall we be likened to Abel, whose sacrifice was well pleasing and acceptable to our Lord.
Our day begins and ends in prayer and the day is filled with prayer. Prayer is as simple as uttering the words “Lord have mercy” and can be as simple as making the sign of the Cross as a breastplate against the adversary.
In our dealings with others, we maintain an Orthodox Mindset when we remember the encounter of our Lord and Zacchaeus. This little man, short in stature became great in history for his stunning conversion from the love of lucre and service to mammon – to become a lover of men and a servant of Christ.
In our society, the media is filled with many items that are distracting and destructive. We acknowledge there are many perils and pitfalls. Acknowledgement is not enough, however, for action is necessary. Do we look for these delights and distractions or do we remain vigilant to steer clear of the snares of our foe. Do we maintain an Orthodox Mindset at all times?
Are we pious and faithful optimists or pernicious pessimists, ready to undercut our brethren for some material gain. The spiritual optimist is one who sees the Lord’s hand in everything and sees Christ in their neighbors. This optimist is slow to anger and speedy to forgive.
This my beloved is what it means to maintain an Orthodox Mindset.