Freedom Belongs to God…

Mikhail Nesterov’s Starets Avraamy (1914-16)

We can go wherever we want and do whatever we want, but that is not freedom. Freedom belongs to God. When a person is free from the tyranny of thoughts, that is freedom. When he lives in peace, that is freedom. He is always in prayer, he is always expecting help from the Lord – he listens to his conscience and does his best. We must pray with our whole being, work with our whole being, do everything with our whole being. We must also not be a war with anyone and never take any offense to heart. Le tit be. Today we are offended by one person – who knows who will offend us tomorrow? We are constantly thinking about these insults, but we should just let them be in peace. We should never take them to heart. When we do the adversary will try to do it again, but if we just let the insult bounce off us, and remain peaceful, then people will give up trying to offend us. And people will ask you, “How come you are always at peace? Everyone else is nervous and easily offended, while you don’t seem to be interested in this life at all. How did you become like that? How can you stay so calm? Well, that is how the Lord keeps us from harm.

~Elder Thaddeaus

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