Dear Friends in Christ,
In these hard times, I have very little to offer you except my love and prayers and to inflict my poetry on you, a captive audience!!
Remember the Little things – diary of a Pustinnyk
A little miracle happened this morning when my printer decided to fail and “go on strike.”I pushed various buttons at random but to no avail. The question mark on the printer display reflected my own state of perplexity! I was wondering how I was going to print the Akathist for Friday evening and thinking of possible alternatives? Well, the All-Holy Mother of God must have seen my anguish and came to my aid. On returning after prayers, I tried again and the printer worked perfectly. I am sure some with more technological skills will have a perfectly good explanation for how it came to work, but for me who is incompetent, my first recourse is to prayer.
It set me thinking that the faith of little children is very simple even though they are computer literate; their questions are most perceptive and their observations often revelatory.
The shadow of the wind
Matthew 21:16 And Jesus said to them,
’Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants,
You have perfected praise’?”
The little boy held his Grandad’s hand tightly in the driving rain.
He suddenly stopped and looked down and stared at the puddle before him.
His Grandfather anticipated some mischievous action from his little grandson.
Was he going to jump into the puddle and make a splash?
But no, the infant just stood there, looking intently into the puddle.
Then he looked up at his beloved elder, and with enquiring eyes asked:
“Grandad, are those ripples the shadow of the wind?”
His Grandfather was reduced to silence before such an observation and search for truth.
Lord, you breathed the breath of life into my body,
Let my heartstrings be tuned to your Holy Spirit
my song of praise be the shadow of my soul,
and may I learn silence before your Word of Wisdom. Amen
A loving word never annoys. An arrogant word shall yield no fruit. You must pray all day and all night for the Lord to let your children avoid dangers. God is merciful!
Saint Theophan the Recluse
To the Glory of God
We are surrounded by shadows divine and we can only contemplate in silence. I go outside and look at the mountain ridge a few miles from my house, the rain-laden clouds roiling around them, and in the words of a song of praise, “I consider the works of Thy hands,” works divine.
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I am still in search of such daily “little things”. May the Lord illumine my darkness. Your prayers
Yes, prayers for all, our rulers and most important our bishops, priest, other clergy, the laity and those who are of the world system. Below is some of the prophecies of Saint (Elder) Levrentii of Chernagov:
(FROM) THE PROPHECIES OF STARETS [ = ELDER] LAVRENTII OF CHERNIGOV
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YOU WILL LIVE TO SEE ANTICHRIST!
Accompanied by two keleinitsy [lay-sisters], the igumeny
[abbess] of the Domnitskaya Convent came to have tea with batiushka
[father (dim. aff.)] Lavrentii. During dinner, he said:
“You and I, matushka – igumenya [abbess-mother (dim.
aff.)], will not live to see antichrist; but, these — your keleInitsy ,
will live to see him!”
That was in 1948. Both nuns had been born in 1923. Monakhinya
[nun] N. was the one who told the story.
I NEED TO SEE
Whenever Fr. Lavrentii would sit down at table to dine, while waiting for
everyone to gather together, he would say:
“I am not hungry, but I need to see you all, and to speak with you a little
concerning what lies ahead for all of you.”
Then he would weep and say:
“If you but knew what fate awaits men and what lies ahead for you. If you
but knew how people suffer in hell!”
AND HOW HE WILL RECOIL!
Batiushka Lavrentii would say:
“Do not be astonished when you hear that people are praying in every which
way in the churches. When those in their golden-caps [archi- and
proto-hieratical mitres] forbid the reading of the Psalter — and, later,
of the hours — then will the Lord endure but a little; and, O how He will
then recoil from them! The Second Coming is now no longer far-distant!”
(Recorded from the words of Sister M.)
“This happened when my father was yet alive,” I. M. would recall,
concerning her conversation with batiushka Lavrentii. “We were
extremely poor, incapable of regaining our senses after the destruction of
the war. I went to see starets [elder] Lavrentii, in order to ask him to
bless me, that I might secretly wear a podriasnik [an under-cassock,
(to be a secret nun)]; but he said to me:
“‘Not all who are in the world will perish; nor will everyone in a
monastery be saved! Do you understand? It is not yet time.’
“Again I began to implore him [to grant me his permission] to enter a
women’s monastery, for it is so extremely difficult for one to save oneself
in the world, but batiushka said to me:
“‘Monks and schema-monks in the monasteries will attain unto the seventh
Heaven; but if you only knew what awaits those virgins who live in the
world! The Lord will tell those schema-bearers to make way for these
secret ones who did not live in a monastery. And these latter will
exceedingly precede the former ! Do you understand that, before God, the
secret ones will be superior to those in the monasteries? Do you
understand?’ the s t a r e t s asked.
“‘I understand nothing,’ was my reply.
“‘Then remember this, at least!’ batiushka said.”
IF ONE LIVES ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF LOVE
A certain pious widow had a dream:
“I saw, as it were, batiushka Lavrentii of Chernigov in the
Trinity Convent, with its inhabitants. There were many sisters there,
and the choir was chanting:
‘Rejoice, O Tsaritsa’. Then, suddenly, the starets rose up
in the air, but there were only a few matushki (mothers – nuns) with
him – seven or eight, all totaled! I ran to ask him: why had so few nuns
risen up, but upon uttering these words, I awoke, without having received
“When I came to see Fr. Lavrentii, he said:
“‘It is as you dreamed it! Had they lived in accordance with the Law of
Love, then everything would have been fine. If someone has a piece of
bread, it is in order that he might share it with another, who would then
offer up a prayer for him. Thus, both would receive their largesse, and
all would have been saved! But, with us, it is just the opposite: the one
who has the piece of bread stirs up great rows. That is why there are so
few who are lifted up, because there is no love!’
“Thus did batiushka explain to me the meaning of my dream.”
FEW ARE SAVED
The venerable Fr. Lavrentii of Chernigov would frequently repeat that souls
go to hell just like people come out of a church on a feastday; but they go
to Heaven like people go to church on a weekday. Batiushka would
frequently sit and weep: he pitied the people who were perishing.
“How many people there are, who are packed in the inferno like herring in a
barrel,” s t a r e t s Lavrentii would say. His spiritual children would console
him, but he would reply, through his tears:
“You do not see. If you could but see… How pitiful it is! And in the
last days, hell will be filled with young people.”
TWIRL THIS AROUND YOUR MOUSTACHE
“And I say unto you, and with great regret do I say it, that you will be
buying houses, and killing time by adorning large and lovely monastic
buildings. But you will have no time for prayer, although you made a vow
“It will not be difficult to be saved during the last days, but wisely so.
The one who overcomes all these temptations, the same will be saved! Such
a one will be among the first. The former will be like unto lamps; the
latter will be like the sun. You have other dwellings prepared for you.
So listen, and twirl this around your moustache!”
Thus did the venerable starets, gazing into the future with his
perspicacious mind, admonish his many, many spiritual children.
A FRIGHTFUL TIME
“Not long before antichrist is enthroned, even those churches that have
been closed will be repaired and restored — not only their exteriors, but
their interiors, as well. They will gild the cupolas of bell-towers and
cathedrals, alike; and when they have completed the main one, then will the
time have come for antichrist to be enthroned. Pray that the Lord might
lengthen that time, that we might be encouraged and sustained: it is a
frightful time that awaits us. The restoration of the cathedrals will
continue up to the very moment that antichrist is crowned. We will have
unprecedented splendour,” starets Lavrentii of Chernigov would say.
“Do you see how craftily and insidiously all this is being prepared?”
batiushka would continue, tearfully. “All the cathedrals will be
exceedingly splendid, as never before, but you must not attend these
cathedrals, for the Bloodless Sacrifice of Jesus Christ will not be offered
there. Remember: there will be churches, but Orthodox Christians must
not attend them, as the entire ‘synagogue of satan’ (Apoc. 2.9) will be
gathered there! I repeat yet again that one must not attend those
cathedrals: there will be no grace in them!”
THE VENERABLE ONE CONCERNING ANTICHRIST
“Antichrist will be crowned king in a splendid rebuilt temple in Jerusalem,
with the clergy and the Patriarch of Russia participating [in his
coronation]. There will be free ingress and egress from Jerusalem for
everyone, but do not attempt to go there then, as everything will have been
done so as to “deceive.” (Matt. 24.24) He [antichrist] will be exceedingly
learned in all satanic wiles and will show great signs. The entire world
will hear and see him. He will “stamp” his people with satan’s seal; he
will hate Orthodox Russia,” the venerable starets Lavrentii of
Chernigov would say.
THERE IS NO NEED TO BE AFRAID
To a certain deacon who is yet alive, but who is now quite aged,
batiushka Lavrentii forthrightly said:
“You will live to see the time when antichrist comes to power. Do not be
afraid, but tell everyone that this is he — and that there is no need to
be afraid! There will be a war, and where it passes, there will be none
(not many) left alive! But, prior to that time, the Lord will send minor ailments to
the weak and they will die, for during antichrist’s time there will no
longer be any death. The Third World War will not be for repentance, but
for annihilation; but the Lord will leave the strongest alive, that they
might confront him [antichrist].
THE SUPREME “PEACE-MAKER”
The venerable starets Lavrentii of Chernigov spoke frequently of
“There will come a time when they will fight and fight, and a world war
will break out. And in the very thick of it, they will say:
“‘Let us choose for ourselves a single king over all the inhabited earth.’
And they will elect him! They will elect antichrist as the universal king
and supreme “peace-maker” of the world. It will be necessary to listen
carefully; it will be necessary to exercise caution! As soon as they begin
to vote for one single man in all the world, know that it is none other
than himself, and that it is forbidden [to Orthodox Christians] to vote
ALL [MY] WORDS ARE TRUE!
Batiushka Lavrentii was sitting in the choir-loft, speaking of the last
days and of the end of this world, relating the details of antichrist’s
enthronement over those who have fallen away from God… And priests
Nikifor, Grigorii and Vasilii Ganzin objected to Fr. Lavrentii that he had
also spoken differently concerning these things. But he replied to them:
“Fathers and brothers, there is one thing that you neither know nor
understand: I speak not only of Russia, but of the whole world! All my
words concerning future events are true, because the Holy Spirit has
revealed them to me by [His] grace.”
FOR A SHORT WHILE
Schema-archimandrite Feofan related that Batiushka Lavrentii
would joyfully say, with a smile:
“The Russian people will repent of deadly sins: that they allowed …
[antichristian] impiety [to hold sway – communism] in Russia; that they did not defend
God’s Anointed Tsar’, the Orthodox churches and monasteries, and all that
is holy and sacred in Russia. They despised piety and came to love demonic
impiety. But there will be a spiritual upheaval! And Russia, together
with all the Slavic nations and lands, will constitute a mighty Tsardom.
She will be governed by an Orthodox Tsar’, by God’s Anointed One. Because
of him, all schisms and heresies will vanish away in Russia. There will be
no persecution of the Orthodox Church. The Lord will have mercy on Holy
Rus’ because the dreadful time preceding that of antichrist has already
taken place in her (70 years of communism). Even antichrist himself will fear
the Russian Orthodox T s a r ‘ – Samoderzhets [Tsar’-Autocrat]. But all the other
nations, save only Russia and the Slavic lands, will be ruled by antichrist
and will undergo all the horrors and torments written of in Holy Scripture.
In Russia, however, there will be rejoicing and a blossoming of faith —
but only for a short while, for the Dread Judge will come to try both the
living and the dead.”
CONCERNING ANTICHRIST’S PERSON IN THE HOLY PLACE
“Blessed and thrice-blessed is the man who will not desire to do so and,
hence, will not see the God-abominated person of antichrist. Whosoever
will see him and hear his blasphemous words promising all earthly
blessings, the same will be seduced and will go forth to worship him. And
they will perish, along with him, as far as eternal life is concerned; they
will burn in eternal fire!”
We asked the venerable one: “How shall this be?” And he answered us with
“The abomination of desolation will stand in the holy place and will
show-forth the foul seducers of the world who, working false miracles, will
deceive all such men as have fallen away from God. And, after them,
antichrist will appear! The entire world will see him at one and the same
time” (via the internet?).
To the question: “Where in the holy place — in church?” venerable
“Not in church, but in the home! Beforetimes, a table used to stand in the
corner wherein the holy icons were. Then, however, that space will be
occupied by seductive instruments for the deception of men. Many who have
departed away from the Truth will say: we need to watch and hear the news.
And it is in the news that antichrist will appear; and they will accept him.
When my grandson was three or four, he was riding with us up the coastal highway, and we all looked out the windows at the ocean. He said, “Grandma, do you think the ocean is so beautiful because the rainbows go down in there?”
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