Saturday, August 26, 2017

A Letter of Father Archimandrite Moses of Optina
to his Cousin the Nun Maximilla.

Most honorable among nuns, dearest sister Maximilla Ivanovna,

    Be strong in the Lord!
    I was glad to receive your welcome letter in good order. I thank you most kindly for everything. Do keep writing to me, and do not make this difficult for yourself. Write to me simply, whatever you feel, and just write as you speak. You do not need to go into detail about your devotion and love for me, because I have known that for a long time.
Write to me mostly about yourself and the kind of spiritual infirmities and trials you have, so that for my part I will be able to show you sympathy for the sake of your spiritual welfare, instead of mere useless affection.
    Of course you and I, who are feeble, have no need to con­verse about great feats of asceticism and exalted virtues­ just about weaknesses and the trials of life. I was pleased with this last letter of yours-that is what they should always be like. You write to me straightforwardly and trustingly concerning your infirmity.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

On Suffering.
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh.

"Suffering has burnt everything out of me.  

Love only has survived..."

 Priest Confessor.

Archbishop Anthony Bloom
Archbishop Anthony*: I think there are two tendencies in the modern world which are equally wrong. The one is to pretend that things do not exist which do exist because they are too painful to face; and the other one is when they come your way because you cannot avoid it, simply do away with them artificially: pain-killers, tranquillisers, anything, provided you do not face up to what is real.

    M.: In order to ease someone's agony you may administer a drug which may be ending the patient's life. How would you decide that dilemma?

    A.A.: I think you cannot impose on a man more than he can bear, and if you can, you must bring him to the most bearable limit. But, on the one hand, I think you must do all you can to avoid his losing consciousness unnecessarily, which I think is done very often because people think that if a patient is unconscious he suffers less and his death will come in an easier way which I think is wrong.