On Carrying Life's Cross and other teachings. Elder Ioann (Krestiankin)

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Regarding the way of “trivialities”

Set aside all considerations of: is killing millions of people, women, children, and the elderly,Архимандрит Иоанн (Крестьянкин) permissible or impermissible. Instead, try to display your proper moral sense in trivialities: do not kill your neighbor, even once – in word, implication, or gesture – for good exists, and it is good to refrain from evil. It is there, in trivialities, that you can do a great deal for yourself – easily, imperceptibly, and comfortably.

It is hard to get up and pray at night. However, in the morning, even if you can’t pray at home, at least while you are on your way to work and you have nothing on your mind, delve into the “Our Father,” and let all of the words of that short prayer respond in your heart. At night, make the sign of the Cross, and from the bottom of your heart, give yourself over into the hands of the Heavenly Father… That is quite easy…

O marvelous way of “trivialities,” I sing a hymn to you! Surround yourselves, O people, gird yourselves, with little works of good, a chain of little things that cost you nothing: simple, easy, good feelings, thoughts and works.

Let’s not get into the great and difficult. Those are for people who love that sort of thing; for us, who still have not arrived at great love, the Lord in His mercy has prepared, and poured out everywhere, like water and air, small love.

On Carrying Life's Cross

Did you know that you do not get down from the Cross? You are taken down from it. And your Cross, if you courageously carry it to the end, will yield great spiritual fruit, transforming your soul, and nourishing your loved ones as well. The great difficulty is that the enemy of all mankind, who is irritated by your charitable acts of compassion, the beginnings of love, intensely opposes everything [you do]. And recognizing the machinations of the enemy, we do not have the strength or the skill to oppose him. Yet that is what we must do.

No one has ever found it painless to carry and ascend his Cross. yes"> Yet without the Cross, we cannot see Christ. We choose the Cross but once, and the rest of life is lived with what opportunity that Cross offers us.

No matter where we might go, our Cross will get no lighter. External sorrows may abate for a time, but it is then that inner ones, even more heavy and profound sorrows pile up on us.

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