Saint Seraphim of Sarov on Knowing God

St. Seraphim of Sarov

St. Seraphim of Sarov

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. And so, if we feel in our hearts coldness, which is from the devil—for the devil is cold—then let us call upon the Lord, and He will come and warm our hearts with perfect love not only for Him, but for our neighbor as well. And from the presence of warmth the coldness of the hater of good will be driven away.

The Fathers wrote, when they were asked: Seek the Lord, but do not be curious as to His dwelling place

Where God is, there is no evil. Everything that comes from God brings peace and profit and leads a man to humility and self-condemnation.

God shows us His love for mankind not only when we do good, but also when we offend and displease Him. How patiently He endures our transgressions; and when He chastises, how mercifully He chastises!

Do not call God just, says St. Isaac; for His justice is not evident in your deeds. If David called Him just and righteous, His Son, on the other hand, showed us that He is rather good and merciful. Where is His justice? We were sinners, and Christ died for us. (St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 90.)

A man becomes perfect in the sight of God to the extent that he follows in His footsteps; in the true age God will reveal His face to him. For the righteous, to the degree they can enter into contemplation of Him, behold His image as in a mirror; but there they will behold the revelation of Truth.

If you do not know God, it is impossible for love of Him to be awakened in you; and you can not love God if you do not see Him. The vision of God comes from the knowledge of Him; for contemplation of Him does not precede knowledge of Him.

One should not think about the doings of God when one’s stomach is full; on a full stomach there can be no vision of the Divine mysteries.

* This excerpt is from “Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. 1: St. Seraphim”

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