The majority of the problems of life–sorrows, inner difficulties–of which one hears during confession, are due to the fact that men live outside the Church, yet appeal to the Church for the solution of their difficulties. They have no determination to change their life. They do not even give a thought to this–that is why the Church is helpless in such cases. Enter the Church, accept the entire order of Church life, and then the difficulties solve themselves. Fr. Alexander Elchaninov

Beloved, such words are scathing to us as a solemn reminder of our woes in our Earthly sojourn. Many times the faithful ask us to pray for them and we struggle as best we can to offer our petty words to the Lord. The Prayers of the Church go beyond this and are effectual. They are a medicine and they are a comfort to us but we too must pray. This doubles the effectiveness of this medicine. Live the life of the Church and you have tripled the efficacy of prayer.

But what does this mean to “live the life of the Church”? This is a profoundly simple command. It is the instruction for us to pick up our Cross and follow our Saviour. It is the directive to strive for holiness and to walk in the footsteps of the Saints.  We enter into the life of the Church by attending the divine Services and by partaking of the Mysteries. We enter this life through prayer with stillness and focus – focus on each word of the prayer. Receive the Mysteries often – this required us to live a life of repentance – a life in which we ever contemplate the Mysteries and what me must to do approach them.

When we have entered the life of the Church we will taste of that sweetness and stillness, and in this we will realize peace – THE Peace of our Saviour.

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