"Be wise!" – Abbot Nikon (Vorobiev) about the spirit of the times and relationships with people.

Part 1

Dear, dear...-enka!

There is so much to write about your letter; I will state the most important thing. The wisdom of God is so great that the Lord turns even evil into man’s benefit. This idea has been revealed by many Holy Fathers. Here's the thing. A person can be saved through faith and keeping all the commandments. Fulfilling them changes the psyche (soul) of a person, renews it, makes a person new in the image of God, more precisely, in the image of the Savior Jesus Christ.

The most basic property of the “new” person is humility (“learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly”) (Matthew 11:29), without which the fulfillment of even all the commandments not only does not bring a person closer to God, but even makes him an enemy of God, because if there is no humility, then there will definitely be pride. It is to this property of the soul, I believe, that the thought of the Gospel is especially applicable, that Satan, having been cast out, wanders outside, and then, seeing that the house is tidy, decorated, but not occupied, he takes seven other spirits, more evil than himself, and settles with them in the soul, and sometimes the last is worse for a person than the first.

At Rev. Macarius of Egypt’s attitude of humility towards other virtues is illustrated by the parable of a luxurious dinner arranged for the king and nobles. But since everything was prepared without salt (i.e., humility), instead of gratitude, the one who hosted the dinner was only subjected to the king’s wrath. Thus, without humility, a person’s virtues are wasted [Without it, that is, without humility, pride will enter the soul, and with it seven demons, that is, all passions]. With attention to oneself, with a constant struggle with sin, a person will see how deeply a person is corrupted and how the whole being of a person is permeated with pride. Conquering every opinion about yourself, your vanity, your pride is tantamount to defeating all sin.

And so, it turns out that a person’s fall into sin can help him acquire humility (unless a person blames no one or anything for his falls, but blames himself, which is quite correct. Man himself is to blame for everything, and circumstances and the devil are only promote sin, seduce, and the final decision belongs to man, therefore he is entirely responsible. This is confirmed by remorse after committing a sin).

Struggling with the sin that lives within himself, and constantly falling into one or another sin, a person experiences, and not theoretically, learns his corruption, his powerlessness and gradually acquires humility. Everywhere and constantly defeated by sins, he will finally, in deep contrition of heart, fall to the Lord with tears, confess with all the depths of his soul of his sinfulness, of his powerlessness to overcome sin himself, and will beg the Lord: “God, if you want, you can cleanse me.” (so spoke the leper) (Matthew 8:2), but I myself can do nothing. Lord, save me, Lord, teach me to do Your will, Lord, bring my soul out of prison [Here only a person will recognize the need for the Savior, His coming to earth, will understand the meaning of His sacrifice on the Cross].” Here a person also comes to know the great mercy of God towards fallen man, for with sincere repentance the Lord protects a person, removes sin from him, heals the ulcer in the soul caused by sin, and man from his own experience knows the existence of God, His providence for man, knows that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (Ps. 33:19), that He is truly the physician of our souls, and so on. and so on.

And thus, the Falls, being evil, become the cause of the greatest good. In this is the wondrous Wisdom of God, as in everything, in everything...

Therefore, my dear..., do not be discouraged when you fall into some sin, but accuse yourself before God, confess your sin to Him, without blaming anyone, humble yourself, recognize your weakness in everything and ask the Lord to create His holy ones in you. commandments. But this does not mean that you yourself should not fight hard. You need to fight with all your might, you need to study the methods of fighting from the Holy Fathers, you need to provide for circumstances conducive to victory or defeat, and avoid the latter and look for the former, and most importantly, when sinful thoughts arise, do not stop crying out to the Lord with all your heart for help with the awareness of your powerlessness overcome sin yourself. Even if you fall into sin, even when committing a sin you must cry out to the Lord and, without shame, present yourself mentally before God, saying: “Lord, you see what I’m doing, have mercy on me, help me, free me from the power of the devil”... And cry before the Lord inside, cry out to Him as often as possible so that He will help you in everything, in your whole life, for it is difficult to fulfill the commandments in the midst of this world. Why did the ancient Fathers cry about the people of our time, that many would perish from sins.

There is also a powerful means in the fight against all sin: as soon as you have fallen into a great sin, go and confess before your confessor. If you can’t do it right away, then at the first opportunity, in no case putting it off until tomorrow and beyond! He who often and immediately confesses sins proves that he hates sin, hates the captivity of the devil and is ready to endure shame during confession, just to get rid of and cleanse himself from sin, and for this he receives from the Lord not only forgiveness for his sins, but also the strength to fight in the future, complete victory, without acquiring, even with victory, a high opinion of oneself and pride. Pay attention to this! (The devil's snares are everywhere).

So make a good start: fight to the best of your ability, do not be discouraged when you fall, but be contrite, cry out to the Lord, foresee circumstances in advance and avoid harmful and dangerous things, confess immediately to your confessor, acquire humility by remembering past sins, falls and present ones, and the Lord will help you , and you will be a skilled warrior of Christ, able to help others later.

Don't indulge in laziness. If laziness prevails in one thing, take on another thing. Don't leave your little rule. Make it a rule to turn to the Lord and the Mother of God at least once an hour with a prayer for forgiveness and help, and if you have the opportunity and strength, then more often. May the Lord help you through the prayers of St. Sergius and other Radonezh miracle workers. Be courageous, don't give up. Hello from us.

May the Lord bless you, enlighten you to all good things, and protect you from all evil. Acquire humility and heartfelt mourning from the falls. Turn everything to your advantage. “To the one who loves God,” that is, to the one who seeks the Lord with all his soul through the fulfillment of His holy commandments, “all will strive for good.

Father who loves you. 15 XI-50

Write about yourself. I always remember you. Try to arrange things with the books. Fight!..

Letters to spiritual children. Hegumen Nikon (Vorobiev; †1963)

About patience with sorrows

Olga N.Ch.

Christ is Risen!

I received your sad letter. You know the spiritual law: Through many sorrows one must enter into the kingdom of God; you will be in a world of sorrow; in patience (tribulations) win your souls, etc. This must be firmly understood by every believer. The God-man endured spitting, beatings, strangulations and other insults, the terrible Cross and death; The weapon pierced the Mother of God’s soul and revolved in Her heart during the entire time of the Savior’s suffering. What did the apostles, martyrs, confessors, saints and other true followers of Christ endure?

If anyone wants to follow Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and come after Me. If you sincerely want to follow Jesus Christ, then there is no other way except the path He indicated: external sorrows, bodily illnesses, and constant struggle with one’s passions, which manifest themselves in the most varied ways. There are obvious passions: gluttony, various types of fornication, love of money, sadness, despondency, anger, vanity, pride, unbelief, envy, deceit, condemnation of neighbors, etc., etc. With all of them, the disciple of Christ has to fight, overcome and conquer, and it requires effort and patience. This is often a real torment, a cross from which you cannot escape. One of two things - either a person surrenders to them without a fight, betrays Christ, choosing the world and his life, or he fights, suffers and through this grows spiritually.

Your state, about which you write in a hint, is also passion, a property of the old man, but through the cunning of the enemy, always hiding, disguised and complicated by all sorts of impurities. The demons, although darkened by the fall, retained their angelic mind and other abilities to some extent. They have perfectly studied the physical and mental properties of a person, they have access to the body and nerves, to the human brain; They also act on spiritual qualities and manifestations, always acting for evil and to the destruction of a person.

Since a person sees obvious passions and also the harm from them, demons try to confuse everything, to give special meaning to a person’s experiences, strengthen one, weaken another in order to mislead a person, give passion special deep meanings, beautiful appearance, and so on. and so on. Their cunning, deceit, lies, all kinds of techniques for seducing and destroying a person are innumerable.

We, beginners, inexperienced, without spiritual leaders, need to know one thing: we ourselves cannot overcome and conquer passions and demons, but we must, however, fight them to the best of our ability and constantly call on the Lord for help during falls. They used me (enemies and passions), and in the name of the Lord I resisted them. Neither you yourself can overcome them with your own strength, nor another person, especially, can help you overcome them, but only the Lord. Consequently, we must pray more with reverence, with contrition of heart, confessing to the Lord our sins, passions, our powerlessness and asking for forgiveness and help. From doing this, you will soon feel calm and peace of mind, some humility and the determination to endure everything for the sake of the Lord and for the sake of your salvation.

I’ll say a few words about your condition, which you seem inclined to consider as belonging only to you, namely feelings of loneliness, abandonment, etc.

I have not met a single girl or single woman who did not suffer from this. This obviously lies in the nature of women. The Lord said to Eve after her fall: And your desire is for your husband. This attraction (not only carnal, but even more psychological, and sometimes exclusively mental) is obvious and acts in all lonely people, being refracted and embellished unconsciously in a wide variety of ways. Taken from Adam's rib, it stretches into place to create one whole man.

Don’t be offended that I’m writing this to you, but sort out your conditions. In any case, they are the properties of the old man and one must not languish in them, but fight through fasting, prayer, and moderate reading of the Holy Scriptures. Fathers and the New Testament, physical work, sometimes fatigue.

I'll leave it at that for now. May the Lord enlighten you to all good things, bless you and help you find the right path, your own, and reach the Kingdom of God!


...There should be no place for despondency, hopelessness, despair! The Lord united human nature with the Divine essence, washed away the sins of all believing humanity with His blood, adopted fallen people as sons, ascended them to heaven, making them partakers of Divine life and joy, joy forever.

These earthly sorrows, illnesses, and the hardships of old age will delight us in the future life. If the Lord suffered for us, then how can we not be at least to a small extent participants in the suffering of Christ?! Our soul, the image of God living in us, desires to be a partaker of the sufferings of Christ, only our cowardice and weakness are afraid of them, although the strength, perhaps, would be enough for patience.

And so the Lord, out of love for us, sends involuntary sorrows and illnesses according to the strength of each, but also gives them patience in order to make us participants in His suffering. Whoever did not suffer here for Christ’s sake will be pricked by his conscience in the next century, because he could have shown his love for Christ by enduring sorrows, but he did not do this, trying to evade and avoid all sorrows.

Our conscience will prick us for not reciprocating God’s love.

Let us thank the Lord with all our hearts for everything that He pleases to send us. The Lord does not send us sorrows and illnesses out of anger, not for punishment, but out of love for us, although not all people and do not always understand this. But it is said: give thanks for everything. We must surrender with all our soul to the good will of God, which saves us, loves us, and desires to lead us through the small sorrows of earthly life to eternal bliss, to the glory of the children of God...

Be with us all. Amen.

May 20, 1958

* * *

Dear L.!

Thank you for your congratulations and good wishes. And we all wish you all kindnesses from the Lord. And the main thing is that you don’t lose heart, don’t lose heart. Firmly remember the words: The Lord loves him, punishes him, beats everyone, and accepts him. Punishes - teaches, educates, prepares for eternal bliss. The Fathers have long said about our times that people will be saved only through sorrows and illnesses. Healthy and happy people forget about God, about the future life: they live as if they will live forever on earth and will never die. And sorrows and illnesses force a person to break away from earthly interests and turn to God.

Believe me, all earthly joys are not worth one drop of spiritual bliss from the Lord. It is said: be patient with the Lord, be courageous and be patient with the Lord, and you will receive the same precious pearl that the merchant “found, and went and sold all that he had and bought it.” But you don’t even need to sell, just endure your illness without complaining and thank God, even if your heart resists it, then you will see the action of the power of God in your heart. Then the heart itself will thank Him. Until then, be patient. You're still young. Don’t be discouraged if the disease sometimes gets worse, as long as there is no severe unbearable pain.

May the Lord enlighten you and comfort you. If you complain or otherwise sin, then, having come to your senses, repent before God, ask for forgiveness, and the Lord will forgive you.

Try to remember the name of God more often, pray more, even silently, if not openly. Try to ensure that calling on the name of God brings you spiritual joy. Prophet David says: I remembered the Lord and rejoiced. Achieve this too by frequently invoking His name.


About humility

Expensive … !

After your letter and conversation on the phone, I wanted to remind you of the words of Bishop. Ignatius:

“Save yourself! Blessed if you find one faithful collaborator in the work of salvation: this is a great and rare gift of God in our time. If you want to save your neighbor, be careful that he does not drag you into a disastrous abyss. The latter happens hourly. The retreat is allowed by God. Don’t try to stop him with your weak hand. Stay away, protect yourself from this: and that’s enough for you. Get acquainted with the spirit of the time, study it, in order to avoid its influence if possible. “Today there is almost no true piety,” says Saint Tikhon a hundred (now two hundred) years ago, “today there is only hypocrisy.” Fear hypocrisy, first, in yourself, then in others.”

You need to give full meaning to these words, take them as your guide, knowing what kind of person they were said.

If you notice that teachers are making a mistake, but it either does not matter much or is obvious to everyone, do not reveal it to others, but cover it with love and condescension. If it is important and you need to understand the truth, then ask the teacher in private as a student, and not as a debater. If he is offended, then do not reveal it at all and never ask again, either alone, or, especially, in front of others, but look for the answer in books, or write to me. If you act differently, you will make enemies, and without benefit for yourself and others, you will greatly aggravate your situation. I beg you, listen to me on this.

People are too weak and selfish. We must spare them and remember the words of Ignatius Brianchaninov, and apply them to teachers and students, and to everyone...

Be wise. Don’t teach your comrades either; and if anyone asks about anything, then answer honestly the way you think is true, but resolutely refuse to judge, much less condemn anyone, especially the authorities or teachers. This is a commandment of the Gospel.

I will not write to you about the rules of the apostles and councils. Read it yourself. Using them literally is currently out of the question.

At one time, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow spoke this way about candidates for priesthood: if you are guided exactly by the canons, then there will not be a single priest (I don’t know exactly his expression, but the meaning is quite accurate).

In order not to delay the letter, I’m finishing. Be healthy. May the Lord bless you!

Open your weaknesses, sorrows, bewilderments to the Lord in prayer and at all times. Reproach yourself for everything, and don’t justify it.

I'm sorry that I keep giving you advice. I remember very well the words of Rev. Seraphim about pebbles carried to the bell tower and about throwing them from there. But I want the best for you. At least something might be useful to you.

May the Lord bless you and keep you from all evil!

Loving you N.


* * *

About spiritual warfare

Dear soul!

I received a letter from you. Lord help you to live in this pool and swim across the sea of ​​life and reach a quiet pier. It’s so difficult now, especially for young people. Always ask for help from the Lord and Mother of God. Know firmly that if a person from the depths of his soul does not want to commit sin, all hell will not harm him. Because God’s help will always be with him; and if a person himself is inclined to sin, he will first talk with his thoughts, and not reject evil thoughts like a poisonous reptile, then the enemy will find an entrance into the heart, and the Lord will allow sin to exist. In the same way, for arrogance, pride or constant evil condemnation of others, a person is allowed to fall.

That is why you need to stay awake and not warm up any reptile in your thoughts or heart, so that it does not sting. Only by staying awake, holding your external senses (sight, hearing, touch) and, if possible, incessantly invoking the name of God can you overcome all enemy attacks and prevent yourself from committing great sin. It is necessary in the name of Jesus Christ to kill the sinful thoughts and feelings that arise from our sinful, corrupted nature and from the influences of demons, before they grow and take root.

There is no other way or means to cleanse yourself: watch and pray unceasingly, so that you may be worthy to avoid all disasters from your sinful nature and from enemies and their tools. Be patient, work hard until September, and then we’ll see. God help you. Fight, do not give in to the enemy, be faithful to the Lord, and He will not leave you or give you harm, even if the whole world turns against you. God is with us, understand the pagans and repent, as God is with us. The Lord bless and keep you.

Your father.

* * *

...I never wanted to live, and now I don’t want to. Only the desire to help those in need still maintains interest in life. On my own, it seems, I would be glad to leave this world at any moment. Of course, unpreparedness is scary, but this is also tempered by the hope of God’s mercy...

Loving you N.


* * *


I ask all relatives and friends to firmly adhere to the Orthodox Christian faith and make every effort until death to save the soul through fulfilling the Gospel commandments and frequent (at least once a year) confession of sins and communion. Throughout my life, I have found consolation in the most difficult circumstances and severe temptations - in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in prayer.

I ask you to have pity and love each other, to help each other in material and spiritual need. Where there is peace and love, there is God, there is joy and salvation, and enmity and envy are from the devil.

Save yourself!

I. Nikon

August 13, 1963

Hegumen Nikon (Vorobiev) “Repentance is left to us”

Pray without ceasing

The idea that absent-minded prayer - “let his prayer become sin” - is from the devil. He tries in every possible way to distract people from prayer, knowing what benefits a person receives from it. Look out for the machinations of the enemy and do not obey him. Be patient, be silent, do not lose heart, pray as often as possible, albeit little by little, and ask the Lord for patience in sorrows and admonition.

Abstinence of bodily senses is necessary. Through them (especially vision and hearing) the soul becomes cluttered; This rubbish comes to life during prayer and prevents you from concentrating. Fallen man, during prayer, sincere and correct, enters into communication with the Creator of the world, receives from Him great mercies and the power to drive away the powerful spirit that imagines being equal to God. How can one endure this humiliation! So he pours out his anger and hatred into prayer and worship. Let them understand the full meaning and power of prayer and God’s mercy towards us fallen ones! The prayer must be said like a publican, that is, considering oneself in destruction, asking exclusively for mercy from the Lord: “Have mercy, Lord, there is no salvation for me from works. You, Lord, are our Savior, on You I entrust the salvation of mine and my loved ones. Be merciful to me, a sinner! When you recognize the truth of what has just been said, not with your mind, but with your heart and experience, this will be a sign of significant success. But this won’t happen any time soon...

People use the words “practice the Jesus Prayer” very often, but this proves that those who use it do not know what prayer is. A person should not exercise (you can go further and say “exercise”!) in prayer, but with the greatest reverence stand before God and with the consciousness of complete unworthiness even pronounce the name of God, entrusting himself to the mercy and condescension of God, pronounce the words with attention and fear prayers.

Correct prayer will very soon show the heart how it should be in prayer. After all, the commandment has been given: pray unceasingly. Through prayer, a person rises from the ground, becomes inaccessible to the reptiles crawling on their bellies on the ground, and receives freedom, like a bird that has been released from its leash. This is what the expression of the holy fathers means: “retreat from the earth.”

About prayer in the temple

Don't waste your time, especially in Church. Say the Jesus Prayer with attention and reverence. If the Lord gives you tenderness, do not waste it, but pray during this time until it passes. You know that the Kingdom of God is taken by force. Gather your thoughts according to your strength and take into account the words of the prayer. And when you are scattered, lament before the Lord about your powerlessness, as in everything else that should not happen. The worker is worthy of food, and whoever does not work in the spiritual field does not eat spiritual fruits. You can’t even catch a fish from a pond without difficulty. He gave a prayer to the one praying, and He will give it to you too, if you work hard. And with prayer it is easy and joyful to be in church and time will pass unnoticed. And without prayer you will get more tired than with the strongest effort to receive prayer, and time will pass uselessly, or rather, harmfully: He who does not gather with Me, scatters.


nun Eupraxia 21/I—52 You write: “It seems to me that you don’t believe anything.” You don’t believe me, but you believe yourself too much. Every sinner is blind. You are blind too. Moreover, when they talk to you about your illness, you don’t attach any meaning to the words. You yourself are blind, and when they show you the way, you don’t believe it, but prefer to go the way you like. What will be the end? Clearly no answer. Not only will it happen, but it is already the beginning of the end. You have already fallen into a hole and are sitting in it. And still you don’t do anything to get out of it, and don’t get caught in the future. You are vain and proud. From here everything else. Because of this, you condemn everyone, blame everyone, but justify yourself, this is the reason for all your sins and illnesses. The Lord warns you of illnesses and troubles so that you look at yourself and humble yourself. And you keep getting rude. Come to your senses! What do we have to do? Here's what: 1. Make peace with everyone sincerely, not with your tongue. 2. Always blame yourself for all conflicts, even if you were innocent; tell yourself this: “For my previous untruths, I now receive what I deserve.” 3. Stop worrying too much about your body and observe fasts not only in quality, but also in quantity of food. You need to lose weight, not get fat. 4. Be sure to pray morning and evening and one hundred Jesus prayers. 5. Every day, at least half an hour, think and imagine that you will die today or, at the very least, tomorrow, and what awaits you. Read what you find about death. The main thing is humility. Don't raise your voice to anyone. Remember the immutable word of the Lord: God opposes the proud. This means that you will not be successful in anything, neither in your inner life nor in your outer life. In your inner life you already see coldness, laziness, and sterility. The same will happen on the outside. You will endure shame, reproach, poverty, illness. Not a single desire or expectation of yours will be fulfilled; you will be trampled into the dirt until you come to terms with it. Thank God for putting up with you for so long, desiring your conversion in order to have mercy after death. I also missed the conditions. 6. Stop judging others. If you see that someone is doing wrong, then do not judge, but take pity on him and mentally pray for him, so that the Lord will forgive him. 7. Stop idle talk, leave ridicule, jokes, etc. 8. In the evening, with all your heart, ask for forgiveness for all violations of the commandments during the day: in deed, word or thought. Try to achieve contrition of the heart and do not let it grow cold. You are again judging Father Sergius: “He will impose a ban again, and what does he want from me?” He wants the same thing as I and all those who wish you well: humble yourself, stop thinking highly of yourself, don’t command, but ask, obey him, cover up his shortcomings according to the commandment: bear each other’s burdens... If you don’t listen to me , but if you remain the same or accept it hypocritically, in appearance, you will see for yourself what will happen. There are immutable spiritual laws, according to which you will be subjected to everything that I wrote above, if you do not repent of your former pride and do not sincerely humble yourself, and do not show your humility in practice. I will be pure before God. While still living there, I always pointed out your vanity, but now it has grown into pride and is bearing fruit, you can see for yourself. If you confess, do not blame anyone and do not complain, because this will again be self-justification, and your confession will be useless. You can't fool God. Do not deceive your confessor and yourself. Don’t start telling yourself that I’m driving you into despair. This is customary among almost all of you. Instead of accepting reproof, you begin to blame someone else again, and thereby completely lose the benefit. Keep in mind that you are condemned for your arrogance and pride by everyone except your flatterers. And you don't want to see this. I will wait to see how you respond to this letter. No need to come. This won't help you at all. With all my heart I wish that the Lord will help you to see yourself and bring repentance with worthy fruits. Lisa, take care of the books, keep them locked so they don’t get stolen. Don't be offended that I write harshly. I consider it my duty to do this. May the Lord enlighten and help you.

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