Friday, January 25, 2008

"Be Completely Like Christ!"

Archimandrite Constantine (Zaitsev) on St John of Kronstadt:
That which was pictured by St. John Chrysostom as an inaccessible ideal — being at the same time a priest’s compulsory ideal! — namely, the blending of asceticism with the world, found full realization in St. John. Family life — transformed into brotherly cohabitation! A thick net of public happenings and opportunities converted into a weapon for the most strenuous and the most effective pastoral work! A golden rainfall, with all its inherent temptations — converted into immediate distribution of what was received, when one hand, not knowing what the other was doing, became, on the spot, by the miracle of insight, also a weapon of guiding pastoral grace! Fame, spreading from all Russia and becoming already worldwide, and power, placing St. John higher than any man — converted into a rostrum for the glorification of God and the preaching of Orthodoxy, and at the same time also into a means of attracting people to the ways of salvation — in personal contact with each one! And finally, in the last analysis — the revelation of himself to the whole world, the baring of his soul, making all, all, all participants in the mystery of "life in Christ" and calling for participation in this life with unattainable simplicity of conviction...

The priesthood, in its highest manifestation — revealed in all its fullness and purity, in all its power, reached to the limit, that is what the world was shown by "Batiushka" John of Kronstadt. All that the Orthodox Church has been saying for two thousand years through the mouths of Her best teachers — was revealed to every gaze as a heart-moving, human phenomenon of a humble Russian "batiushka"...

The consciousness of one’s infirmity in Christ — as a source of all-powerful strength! "If Christ is within you through frequent communion of the Holy Mysteries, then be all like Christ: gentle, humble, long-suffering, full of love, impartial to worldly things, contemplating of heaven, obedient, reasonable; have His Spirit within yourselves without fail, do not be proud, impatient, attached to the world, miserly and greedy for money."

"Be completely like Christ!" Living in Christ, St. John stopped considering his will as his own — being able to subject it to Christ!

Cited from Fr Constantine's "A Spiritual Portrait of Fr John of Kronstadt."

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