about the purpose of Christian life took place

The discussion of St. Seraphim with Nikolai Aleksandrovich Motovilov (1809-1879) about the purpose of Christian life took place in November 1831 in the wood, not far from Sarah’s cloister and was noted down by Motovilov. The manuscript was discovered 70 years later, in the papers of Nilolai Aleksandrovich’s wife, Elena Ivanovna Motovilova. We publish the text of discussion, that was printed in 1903, with some abridgements. An apparent simplicity of discussion is delusive: the homily is delivered by one of the greatest Saints of Russian Church, and the hearer is the future faith devotee, who was healed of incurable illness with bead of Seraphim. It was N.A. Motovilov, to whom St. Seraphim, before his death, bequeathed the material cares of his divejev orphans and of the Seraphim-Divejev abode, which was founded by him.

It was on the chetvertok (old Russian for Thursday). It was an overcast day. Snow was on the quarter on the ground, from above it snowed with fairly heavy snow pellets, when the parson Father Seraphim began the conversation with me on his nearby hayland, near his nearby hermitage against the river Sarum, at the foot of the mountain, which is coming up to its banks.

He set me on just felled by him stamp, and he, himself, squatted down opposite me.

- The Lord revealed to me, - said the elderly monk, - that in your puerility you mightily wished to get to know what is the purpose of our Christian life, and you asked about it time and again a lot of the major confessors...

I have to say now, that since I was 12 years old, this thought persistently harassed me and I really turned to a lot of confessors with this question, but the answers didn’t satisfied me. Spiritual elder wasn’t aware of it.

- But nobody, - continued father Seraphim, - told you about it clearly. Told you: go to the church, pray to God, creat the commandments of God, make good – that is the purpose of Christian life. And some of them even were indignant with you because you were busy with not charitable curiosity, and told you: don’t seek the higher than you. But they didn’t talk about it as it should be. Now I, miserable Seraphim, make you understand in what actually this purpose consists.

The prayer, the fast, vigils and all sorts of the Christian deeds, no matter how good they are in itself, however the purpose of our Christian life doesn’t consist just in doing of them, although they serve as necessary means for its fulfilment. The real purpose of our Christian life lays in the gaining of the God’s Holy Spirit. The fast, and vigils, and the prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed, that is made for God’s sake, is the the essence of the mean for contraction of the God’s Holy Spirit. Remark, father, that only good deed, that is made for God’s sake, bears the fruits of the Spirit. Nevertheless for the God’s sake done, good as it is, it doesn’t repesent a recompence in the life of future century, and in present life as well it doesn’t represent the God’s grace. That is why the God Jesus Christ said: everyone, and others, who don’t gather with Me, they waste. The good deed can’t be called otherwise as the collection, because although it is not for God’s sake made, it is still good. It is said in the Holy Scripture: in every heathen be afraid of God and make truth, that is pleasant for Him. And as it may be seen from the Holy Narration, that, who makes truth, is so flatter to God, that the God’s angel appeared to the sotnik Cornelius, who was afraid of God and made truth, at the time of his prayer and said: let’s go to Ioppija to Simon Usmar, there you’ll find Peter, who says the words of eternal life, you and your home will be saved with them. So, the Lord uses all his divine means so that such a person would have a possibility not to be deprived of reward for his good deeds in the life of renovation of the soul. But for this one should start with righteous faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, who came to this world to save sinners...But this pleasure for God comes to nothing more from good deeds, which are not for God’s sake made: our Creator gives means for theirs implementation. It is up to the man to accomplish them or not. That’s why the Lord told the Jews: if they don’t see, they would have not sins. Now say you – we see, and your sin is with you. Make use, man, like Kornilij, of the fact that your deed is pleasant for the Lord, which is not for God’s sake made, and accept His Son, this sort of deed will be imputed to him, as it were made for God’s sake and only for faith in Him. Otherwise the man has no right to complain, that his good went phut. It will never happen when someone makes any good for the God’s sake, because the good, which is made for the sake of Him, not only in the life of future century, advocates the halo of truth, but in present life as well it fills the man with the grace of Holy Spirit, and moreover, as it is said: God gives the Holy Spirit not within reasonable limits, because the Father loves the Son and gives everything into His hands.

Now you understand, the Godbeloved! The real purpose of our Christian life consists in the gaining of the Holy Spirit, and the prayer, fast, alms and other for-God’- sake-made virtures are the essence of the mean for the gaining of the God’s Spirit.

-What does it mean the gaining? – asked I the father Seraphim. – I can’t understand it.

-The gaining means acquisition, - answered he, - you know undoubtly, what the gaining of money means. The gaining of the God’s spirit is the same. You, the Godbeloved, understand the gaining in secular sense, don’t you? The aim of secular life for ordinary people is the gaining, or earning money, and for the noblemen moreover - is to get honours, distinctions and other rewards for public services. The gaining of the God’s Spirit is also capital, but only blessed and eternal...The God is the Word, our Lord the God-man Jesus Christ likens our life to the market and calls the matter of our life on the earth as buying, and tells us: buy till they come, who redeem the time, because the days are cunning, so gain the time for getting of heavenly blessings by way of earthly goods. The earthly goods are virtures, which is made for the God’s sake and give us the grace of the Holy Spirit. It is said in the parable of wise and fool for Christ’s sake virgins, when the fools for Christ’s sake were short of olive oil, that: buy it on the market. But when they bought, the doors into the bridal chamber were already closed, and they couldn’t come in. Some people said that when fool(ish) "in Christ" virgins were short of olive oil it meant the lack of life-time good deeds. Such comprehension is not completely correct. How could they be lack of good deeds, when they were fool(ish) "in Christ" but still were called as virgins? The childhood is still the utmost virtue, like the state of angels, and it could be a substitute for all other virtues. I, the miserable, think that they were lack of grace of the Holy Spirit. When these virgins made virtures thought, through their spiritual ignorance, that the cause of christianity is only to make virtures. There, where the virture was made, was the deed of God made as well, but they didn’t care whether they gained the God’s sake or not. It is said about such ways of living, which are guided only by making the virtures without careful testing, whether they bring or not the God’s Spirit and how much exactly, in paternal books: that is not the way, which is good at the beginning but its end is infernal. Anthony the Great talked in his letters to the monks about such virgins: “Many of the monks and virgins have no idea of distinctions in wills, which the man has and don’t understand that there is three wills inside us: the first is – God’s, almighty and all-saving; the second is – personal your own, human, that is not necessarily pernicious, but not saving; the third is diabolic - quite pernicious. And that is the third – hostile will – that teaches a man not to make any virtues, or to make them through vanity, or for one good, but not for the God’s sake. The Second – our personal will teach us to take delight in our lust, and even, like the enemy teaches, to make good for good, without paying attention to grace, which he gains. The First – the God’s will and all-saving consists in making good only for the Holy Spirit... That is the olive oil in the lamps of wise virgins, that could glow brightly and for a long period of time, and virgins with this burning lamp could wait till the bridegroom came, that appeared at midnight and came with him in the hall of gladeness. The fools for Christ’s sake, when they saw, that their lamps were dying down, went to the market and bought the olive oil, but didn’t manage to be in time, because the doors had been already closed. The market – is our life; the doors of bridal chamber, which were closed and didn’t admit to the bridegroom, - is the human death; wise and fool for Christ’s sake virgins - the Christian souls; the olive oil – is not the matter, but the grace of the God’s Holy Spirit, that we get through it inside, that convert decomposition into non decay, the emotional death into spiritual life, the darkness into the light, the den of our existence, where the passions are bound like beasts and cattle, - into the temple of God, the bright hall of eternal gladeness about our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator and the Redeemer and eternal fiancee of our souls. The God’s compassion upon our distress is so great, that is lack of consideration for his care about us, when the God says: I stand here near the doors and thinks...implying by the doors the course of our life, which is not closed by the death. Oh, I wish, your Godbeloved, that you were in present life always in God’s Spirit! Where I find, there I judge, says the God. Woe will be, great woe, if He finds us burdened with cares and life’s sorrow, because nobody can endure His anger and nobody will stand in the face of him! That is why it is said: keep vigil and pray, but don’t get into misfortune, that is don’t lose the God’s Spirit, because vigil and prayer bring His grace to us. Certainly, any virtue, that is made for God’s sake, gives the grace of the Holy Spirit, but most of all the prayer gives, because it is always in our hands, as an implement for gaining of the Spirit’s grace... There is always a possibility for everyone and always with it... How great the prayer’s power is, even of the sinner, when it is offered up with all one's heart, can you judge from the next example of the Holy Tradition:when at the instance of desperate mother, which lost her own son, that was taken by death, wife-fornicatress, whom she met up and who wasn’t even cleaned of the sin, she was so affected by the desperate sorrow of the mother, appealed to God: ‘Not for me, cursed sinner, but for the mother’s tears, which grieves for her dead son and that believes in Your mercy and omnipotence, raise, Lord, from the dead her son!” – and the Lord raised him from the dead. So, your Godbeloved, the prayer’s power is great, and it brings the God’s Spirit most of all, and it is for everyone to correct it. Blessed we are, when the God finds us vigil, in the entirety of gifts of His Holy Spirit!...

- But what about the other virtues, father, which are made for God’s sake, for the gaining of the Holy Spirit’s grace? You tell me only about the prayer, don’t you?

- Gain the grace of the Holy Spirit and with all other virtues, trade in them spiritually, trade in those, which are more profitable for you. Make the capital of beneficial excesses of the God’s grace, put it into the eternal God’s pawnshop from the immaterial interest... For instance: the prayer and keeping vigil give you more God’s grace, then keep vigil and pray; the fast gives you much, then fast, alms gives you more, then dispense alms and in that way ponder over the virtues, which are made for God’s sake. Now I tell you about myself, miserable Seraphim. I am of the Kursk merchants by origin. So, when I hadn’t been yet in the monastery, we used to trade in goods, which were more profitable for us. So are you, father, deal, and as with trade affairs, that is not the point in trading more, the point is to get more profit, and the same is in Christian life, that is not the point in praying only or making another good deed. Although apostle says, pray incessantly, yet, as you remember, adds: I’d rather say five words with my mind than thousands with my tongue. And the Lord says: not everyone wil be saved, who just tells Me, oh Lord, Lord! but carry out My Father’s will, that is who makes the God’s case and moreover makes with reverence, because everyone will be damned, if he makes the God’s case with carelessness. And the God’s case is: believe in God and He send Jesus Christ. When you interpret correctly all commandments of the Lord and Apostles, our Christian cause consists not in increase of good deeds, which are only means for fulfillment the aim of our Christian life, but in deriving larger benefit from it, that is in larger gain of lavish gifts of the Holy Spirit.

- So, your Godbeloved, I wish that you gained this eternally inexhaustible source of God’s grace and always ask yourself whether you are in the God’s Spirit or not, if you are in the God’s Spirit, then blessed the God! – there is nothing talk about: at once if you like – at the Day of the Judgement! Because where I find, there I judge. If you are not, then you have to find out, why we were deprived of the God’s Holy Spirit, and again look for It and find It. We should attack our enemies, who keep us off Him, till their ash ascends, as it was said by prophet David...

- Father, - said I,- you talk about the gaining of the grace of the Holy Spirit, as about the purpose of Christian Life; but how can I see it? The good deeds can be seen, but can we really see The Holy Spirit? How would I know that He with me?

- We, now, - answered the spiritual elder, - have moved almost completely off the veritable Christian life, because of our general coldness to the holy belief in our God Jesus Christ and because of our carelessness to the God’s administration of the world and to relations with God...

We have become very inattentive to the case of our salvation, that’s why we understand a lot of words of the Holy Scriptures in the wrong sense, not as we should understand it. And all this happens, because we don’t seek the God’s grace and don’t let it, because of our pride, take root in our soul and as a result we don’t have the true enlightenment of God, which is delivered to people’s hearts, that crave for truth of God. Here, for example: a lot of people interpret the lines in Bible, where it is said – the God blew the breath of life in the face of Adam the First-called and who was created by Him from the world’s finger, as though there hadn’t been either man’s soul nor man’s spirit, as if there had been only the flesh, created from the world’s finger.

This interpretation is wrong, because the God created Adam from the world’s finger with the composition, exactly as the apostle Peter claimed, may your spirit, soul and flash be perfect in the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And all these three parts were created from the world’s finger, and Adam wasn’t dead, when he was created, he was a living creature, just like others who live on the earth and were animated by God’s creation. But the point is that, if it were not the God who blew in his face the breath of life, that is the grace of the Lord the Holy Spirit procceded from the Father and in the Son respected and for the Son in the world sent, then Adam, however perfect he was created over other God’s creators, like creation halo on the earth, still he would come without the Holy Spirit inside him, that would raise him to the Godlike values, and in this case he would be like all other creatures, who have flash, and soul, and spirit, which belong to everyone by birth, but who wouldn’t have the Holy Spirit inside. When the God blew in Adam’s face the breath of life, it was then, in the description of Moses, when Adam got his lively soul, that was Godlike, and like He, immortal for ever. Adam was created like one, who wasn’t liable to the influence of any elemental forces, created by the God, water couldn’t sink him, fire couldn’t scorch him, earth couldn’t devour him in its abysses, and the air as well couldn’t injure him. Everything was subjugated to him, likewise the minion of God, like the king and possessor of all creatures...

The Lord granted to Eve the same wisdom, and omnipotence, and all other good and holy qualities, when He created her not from the world’s finger, but from Adam’s rib in the paradise, that was implanted by him in the middle of the earth. The Lord planted in the middle of the paradise the life tree, in order to maintain always and comfortably in itself immortal, God-blessed and perfect qualities of the breath of life, the fruits of the tree contained the essence and plenitude of gifts of this divine breath. If Adam and Eve hadn’t sined, they and their descendants would have always enjoyed the fruits of life tree and in that way they would have maintained the vivifying power of the God’s grace inside and immortal, perpetually young fullness of power of flesh, soul and spirit, which is incomprehensible today even for our imagination.

When we pertake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – untimely and under commandment of God – we found out the distinctions between good and evil and were exposed to all calamities, which followed for infringement of commandment of God, and as a result we lost this invaluable gift of the God’s grace, that’s why the Holy Spirit hadn’t been in the world till the Lord Jesus Christ came, because Jesus wasn’t verily glorified ...

When He, Our Lord Jesus, desired to accomplish the case of salvation, after His resurrection He blew in apostles, and in that way He renewed the breath of life, which was lost by Adam, and He granted to them the same grace of the Holy Spirit. But it wasn’t all – He told them: it is better to have it, and He goes to the Father; if He doesn’t go, the God’s Spirit won’t come in the world: if He, Jesus, comes to the Father, then He send Him in the world, and He, Comforter, will point all them at the truth and everything will be with Him, He talked and all existing with Him. The grace was promised by Him. And on Whitsunday granted He solemnly the Holy Spirit to them with vigorous breath, in the form of tongues of flame, that accumulated on everyone and penetrated in them, and filled them with power of the God’s grace, that breathed with dew and had an joyous effect on souls, which received communion from her power and actions.

And this firebreathed grace of the Holy Spirit, when we receive it in the sacrament of the holy christening, is embodied with the holy anointing in the most important and pointed by the Holy Church places of our flesh, as immortal keeper of this grace. It is said: the mark of the Holy Spirit’s gift. Where could we set, the Father, your Godbeloved, our marks, but on the vessels, that keep our valued treasure? What can be higher then everything and more valuable then the Holy Spirit’s gifts, which are sent down in the sacrament of christening, they are so vital for man, that they are integral part even of heretic till his death, that’s till the time, that is identified from on high by God’s administration for lifelong trial of the man on the earth – for what he will fit and what he will be able to accomplish during the period, that was granted by the God and with help of granted from on high power.

And if we don’t sin after our christening, then we will be for ever saint, chaste and remote from the filth of flesh and soul by way of saints. But that is the trouble, that we succeed in the age, but we don’t succeed in the divine grace and mind, likewise our Lord Jesus Christ succeeded, and quite the contrary we become corrupted little by little, loosing the God’s Holy spirit and become in different ways sinners. But when that, who is inspired by the God’s wisdom, that looks for our salvation, makes up his mind to be up early in the morning to pray and to keep vigil in order to gain the eternal salvation, then that, who is docile to this voice, should resort to repentance in all his sins and to make virtues, which are opposite to sins, and by way of these virtues he can gain the Holy Spirit, that is inside us and arrange the Kingdom of God inside us.

The Word of God says not in vain: the Kingdom of God is inside you, and those, who apply force, enrapture him. That is – those people, who in spite of sinful bonds, which bind them and don’t let come to Him, our Saviour, with absolute repentance, scorning the solidity of these sinful bonds, forced to abrogate bonds, - such people appear in the face of God whitened better then snow by His grace. Come, says the Lord: and if your sins are like purple, I will whiten them like snow. Thus in the old days holy prophet St.John the Divine saw such people clothed in white, that is in the clothes of exculpation, and palms in their hands like sign of victory, and sang they a strange song Halleluiah to the Lord. Nobody can imitate the beauty of their singing. The angel of the Lord said about them: their essence, that comes from the great sorrow, wash up chasubles and whiten their chasubles in the Lamb’s Blood, - to wash out with sufferings and whiten them in communicating of the All-pure and Life-giving sacraments of Flesh and the Lamb’s Blood of immaculate and All-pure Jesus, who sacrificed his life to save the world, and gave us the eternal and not impoverished salvation and the substitute, that surpassed any mind, of that fruit of life tree and the human enemy, fallen angel,wanted to deprive the human race of it.

Although the devil seduced Eve and Adam declined with her, but the Lord not only granted the Redeemer to them in the foetus of Wife’s semen, that defied the death with death, but gave us through the Wife, the eternal Virgin Mother of God Maria, that obliterated the serpent's head in Herself and in the human race, the constant Advocate to Her Son and to our Lord, not disgraceful and insuperable Advocate for the most desperate sinners. That is why Mother of God is called the Pest of devils, because there is no possibility for devil to destroy the man, provided that the man wouldn’t swerve from the help of Mother of God.

Once more, your Godbeloved, have I, miserable Seraphim, to explain the difference between the actions of the Holy Spirit, that secretly settle in the hearts of the faithful in God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the actions of sinful darkness, that acts furtively at devil's instigation inside us. The God’s Spirit reminds us the words of our God Jesus Christ and concurs with Him, always identically, fills our souls with gladness and to set our footsteps on the right track, but the flattering devil’s spirit philosophizes against the God, and his actions inside us are rebellious, footsteps are inflated with carnal lust, the lust of eyes and worldly pride. Amen, amen, tell you, everyone, who is alive and belives in Me will live forever: having the grace of the Holy Spirit for the just believe in God, even if he dies emotionally of the sin through human’s infirmity, he won’t die for ever, but he will be raised from the dead by the grace of our God Jesus Christ, who devours the world’s sins and grants the grace in vain. It is said in the Gospel about this grace, that appeared to the whole world and to our human race in Otherworldly person: there was a life and the life was in the light of man, and it is added: and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness won’t devour It. It means that the grace of the Holy Spirit, which is granted by the christening in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, inspite of the the Fall of the man, inspite of the darkness in our soul, however shines in the heart with divine light of the invaluable merits of Christ. This light of Christ, by impenitence of the sinner, tells the Father: Father! Don’t be too angry with this impenitence! And then, when the sinner is converted to the pious way, effaces completely the signs of the crimes, that were commited, dressing the former offender in the clothes of impregnability, which is webbed from the grace of the Holy Spirit, about the gaining of which, like about the aim of the Christian life, I tell you all the time...

- In what way, - asked I father Seraphim,- can I understand that I am in the grace of the Holy Spirit?

- It is very easy, your Godbeloved! – answered he. – That’s why the God says: each essence is simple for those who gain the mind... But the trouble is that we don’t seek the God’s mind, that puts on air, because it is not of this world...

I answered:

- But still I don’t understand, why I can be fully confident, that I am in the grace of the Holy Spirit. How can I perceive in myself Its veritable apparition?

The Father Seraphim answered:

- I have already told you, your Godbeloved, how people find themselve in the God’s Spirit...What do you want more?

- I want, - said I, - to effectively grasp it!..

Then the father Seraphim took me by shoulders and told me:

-Both of us,father, are now in the Holy Spirit!.. Why don’t you look at me?

I answered:

- I can’t look, father, because there are lightnings in your eyes. Your face became brighter then sun, and my eyes ache!..

The father Seraphim said:

- Don’t be afraid, your Godbeloved! You have become bright as well. You are in the fullness of the God’s Spirit too, otherwise you couldn’t see me.

He bent his head to me and whispered in my ear:

- Bless the God for His constant divine mercy. You saw, that I told the God only in my heart mentally: Lord! Favour him to see with corporal eyes the ascent of Your Spirit, which You grants for Your slaves, when You have the kindness to appear in the light of Your gorgeous glory! And the Lord complied instantly with a humble request of miserable Seraphim... - Is it possible not to bless Him for this eternal gift for both of us! Thus, father, even the great anchorites are not always granted by God with His mercy. This God’s grace had the kindness to console your grieving heart, likewise the philoprogenitive mother, by advocating of the Mother of God...Why don’t you look in my eyes? Just look and don’t be afraid – the God is with us! I looked at him after this words and I was seized by even greater devout fear. Just imagine, in the middle of the sun, in the brightness of its midday rays, there is a face of the man, that talk with you. You see the motion of his lips, his expression that changes, hear his voice, sense that someone take you by your shoulders, but you don’t see not only these hands, you don’t see yourself, you don’t see his figure, you see only the dazzling light that stretches far away, to several sazhen around, and who lights up with its shine the snow shroud, that covers the clearing, and snow pellets, that shower on me, and the great elderly monk...

- What do you feel now? – asked me father Seraphim.

- I feel unusually good! – said I.

- What do you mean good? What do you feel exactly?

I answered: - I feel such a silence and peace in my heart, that I can’t put into words!

- That is, your Godbeloved, the peace, which the God described to His disciples, I give you my world, not as just the world is given, I give you. If you were with the world, the world would love you, but if you repudiated the world, it would hate you. Although you can venture, because I will conquer the world. For these people, which are hated by this world, but who chose the world with the God, which you feel now inside you; the world, by the word of apostle, that exceeds any mind. The apostle calls it so, because it is impossible to put into words that peace of mind, which it brings to that people, in which hearts it is inculcate by the God. Christ the Saviour calls it the world from His own generousity, but not of this world, because none of the earthy happiness could give it to the human heart: it is granted by the God, that’s why it is called the God’s world...What else do you feel? – asked me father Seraphim.

- I feel unusual sweetness! - said I.

And he continued:

That is the sweetness, which is described in the Holy Scripture: от тука дому Твоему упиются и потоком сладости Твоея напоивши я. Now this sweetness fills our hearts and spreads over our veins with unspoken pleasure. Our hearts melt with this sweetness, and both of us are filled with such a pleasure, that can’t be put into words...What else do you feel?

- I feel unusual pleasure in my heart!

And father Seraphim continued:

- When the Holy Spirit condescends to a man and blesses him with Its advent, then the person’s heart is filled with unspoken pleasure, because the Holy Spirit fills everything with pleasure what It touches. That is the pleasure, that is described by God in His Gospel: when the wife gives birth, she is seized with sorrow, because his time will come: when she gave birth to a baby, then she doesn’t remember the sorrow because of the happiness that a man is born. There will be a sorrow in the world, but when you see, your heart will be filled with gladness, and nobody will manage to take away this gladness from you. But no matter how comforting is this gladness, which you feel now in your heart, it is still trifling in comparison with that, about which the God said with the mouth of His apostle, that this gladness can’t be seen, heard, that is the gladness which the God prepared for those, who love Him. The hints of this gladness are given to us now, and if it is so sweet, good and gaily from them, what can be said then about that gladness, which is prepared for us in the heaven? You, father, have wept enough in our life on the earth, and look with what gladness the God consoles you. Now it is up to us, to make every effort, to go up from power to power and to reach the extend of Christ’s age...What else do you feel, your Godbeloved?

I said:

- I feel unusual warmth!

- What warmth do you mean ? We are in the wood. It is winter, and there is snow underfoot, and we got covered with snow, and snow pellets fall from above...what warmth can it be?

I answered:

- That is the warmth, that can be in the bath-house, when it is added on the stone and the vapor trail is belching from it...

- And the smell, - asked he,- is the same, as it is from the bath-house?

- No, - amswered I, - there is nothing on the earth that is similar to this odour...

And father Seraphim said with a pleased smile:

- So am I, father, know it exactly like you, but asked you purposely – feel you that or not? It is a veritable solemn truth, your Godbeloved. None of the pleasantness of earthy odour can’t be compared with the fragrance, which we sense now, because we are surrounded now by the fragrance of the Holy Spirit. What earthy can be similar to it? Notice, your Godbeloved, you have told me, that it is warm around likewise in the bath-house, but look: snow doesn’t melt neither on you nor on me. It means that the warmth is inside us not in the air. That is the warmth, for what the Holy Spirit makes us appeal to the God: warm me up with the cordiality of the Holy Spirit! Anchorites, which were warmed up with it, were not afraid of winter frost, being clothed, like in warm fur coats, in blessed clothes, that were webbed of the Holy Spirit. Actually it must be so, because the God’s grace must be inside us, in our heart, because the God said: the Kingdom of God is inside you. By the Kingdom of God understood The God, the grace of the Holy Spirit. This Kingdom of God is in inside you now, and the grace of the Holy Spirit lights up from inside and warms us up, and, fills the air, that surrounds us, with various fragrance, delights our feelings with divine pleasure, filling our hearts with an ineffable gladness.

Our present state is the same, which was described by apostle: the Kingdom of God is not the food and drink, but the truth and peace of the Holy Spirit. Our faith consists not in the words of earthy wisdom, but in apparition of the power and the spirit. We are now in this state. The God said about this state: the essence of those who are here, which won’t partake of death, till they see the Kingdom of God, which appeared in power...Will you remember the present apparition of an ineffable mercy of the God, which appeared to us?

- I don’t know, father, - said I, - whether the God will deign me or not to remember it so evidently, as I feel it now, this grace of the God.

- But I believe, - answered father Seraphim, - that the God will help you to keep it in mind for ever, otherwise His grace wouldn’t respond so immediatly to my prayer and to hear miserable Seraphim, especially because the comprehension is given not only for you, but for the whole world through you, in order you would become firmly convinced in the power of the God and as a result could be of use for others...A just believe in God and His Son is exacted from the God. That is for what the grace of the Holy Spirit is given. The God seeks the hearts, which are full of love to God and to fellow creatures, - that is the throne, on which He likes to sit and on which He appears in the fullness of His divine glory. Son, give Me your heart, - said He, - and the rest I will give you , because there is a room for the Kingdom of God in the heart of man. The God gives commandments to His disciples: seek the the Kingdom of God and Its truth, and you will have it. Because it is your heavenly Father, to whom we apply for all power.

The God doesn’t reproach for using of earthly blessings, because He says, that we need all powers according to the determined our life, we need everything, that appease our human life on the earth and make our way, to the heavenly Fatherland, easier and more comfortable. .. And the Holy Church is agree that it would be given to us by the God: and although sorrow, misfortunes are various and inseparable from our life on the earth, but our God didn’t want, that we bear the burdens of each others and in this way to fulfil the God's Law. The God gives us personally the commandment, to love each other, being consoled by this mutual love and as a result make our sorrowful and compact way to the heavenly Fatherland easier. He came down from the heaven in order to take away our poverty and to grant us with the wealth of His grace and His unspoken generosity. He came not to get the service from others, but to be in use for others and gave His soul for the rescue of many people. So are you, your Godbeloved, do good, and seeing the God’s grace that is granted to you, tell everybody, who wants salvation for himself, about it. There is much harvest, - said the God, - but you do little...The God make us do and gave the gifts of His grace, so that reaping the salvation of our fellow creatures by way of many people whom we bring to the Kingdom of God, would bring Him fruits - thirty, or sixty, or hundred.

Let’s preserve ourselves, father, so that we wouldn’t be condemned with that crafty and lazy slave, who wasted his talent, let’s try to be like those good and faithful slaves of the God, which brought to their God the one instead of two – four, another instead of five – ten. We shouldn’t have any doubt about the God’s mercy. You see, your Godbeloved, as the words, which were said through the prophet, were realised: the God is near and your salvation is in your mouth...

The God is close to everyone, who applies to Him, and there is no eye sight on His face, because the Father loves His Son and gives everything in His hands, we have only to love Him, our heavenly Father, verily, likewise the son loves his father. The God listens equally to a monk, and lay-man, a mere Christian, both of them have only to be Orthodox believers and to love the God with all their heart, and both have the believe in Him, just as mustard grain and together will move mountains. One moves thousands, two move ten thousand. The God says: everything is posssible for believer, and father Peter claims: everything is possible with the help of Christ.

Our God Jesus Christ talks about belivers in Him even more peculiarly: when you belive in Me not only I do good, it will be even more created, because I go to My Father and supplicate for you, you will fill with pleasure. Even if you did nothing for Me, now you can ask and get...So your Godbeloved, whatever you would ask the God you would get it, it must be only for the God’s sake and for the good of your fellow creatures, because He refers the good of fellow creatures to His glory, that is why He says: everything, that you do for your neighbours, you do for me. Have no doubt that the God won’t fulfil your entreaties, let they only refer to the God’s glory, or to the good of fellow creatures. But even if you need something for your personal need or good, the God will deign to give you, if only there is an absolute necessity, because the God loves those, who love Him: the God is good in every possible way, His deeds are generous, He will creat a will, of those who are afraid of Him and He will hear their prayer, and every apply will be executed, the God will fulfil your petitions. But refrain, your Godbeloved, from asking the God for that, in what there won’t be an absolute necessity. The God won’t regect your apply for your believe in the Saviour, because the God won’t betray the crosier of the pious and He will creat undeviatingly the will of His slave, but makes answer for disturbing Him without an absolute necessity, ask Him for that, without what he could manage.

And during the whole conversation since the moment, when the face of father Seraphim began to shine, this vision didn’t cease... The shining of light, which came from him saw I, first-hand, and I am ready to confirm it and to swear in it.

The translation is made by Ann Kubakh