When you are distressed by the world

Elder Philotheos Zervakos is soon to be glorified as a saint by the Church of Greece. Here is his counsel to one who is vexed by the commotion and corruption of the world:

You write, my child, that you are distressed in the world and by its vanity, delusion and impiety, sin and noise. So that I can lighten your affliction a bit I advise you to do the following:

First, think that God is everywhere present, and since He is everywhere, he also is in the wilderness and in the world, in the sea and on land, He is everywhere.

And He is not far from each one of us, as the Apostle Paul told the Athenians.

So, my child, since God is near you, leave the old world, let it do whatever it wants; you will not give account for the world.

At the Second Coming each one will give account concerning his own self.

Second, say about those who make noise and disturb you from morning till night:

They do their job and I let me do my job.

They shout, sing, dance and bless Satan, with lewd songs, dances and foul words.

I must hymn, bless and glorify God, pray and ask Him to save me, to take me with Him into paradise, as He took the thief, the prodigal, the adulteress, the publican.

Is it not, my child, a great shame to us, for them to have greater eagerness than us in working for Satan day and night, for him to damn them, and us to be negligent and cold and working for God with indolence?

So I advise you, have patience and don’t abandon ceaseless noetic prayer, don’t allow God to depart from near you.

Joseph was in Egypt, in the place of sin, and he did not sin because he recalled God, he had Him near him.

Adam was in paradise, where sin did not exist, but because he forgot God, he disobeyed Him and listened to the devil, and he lost paradise.

So it is not the place, but the life which saves man, the divine Chrysostom used to say.

— Elder Philotheos Zervakos

Father Silouan

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