Seraphim of Sarov  

Posted by Joe Rawls

Today the Orthodox Church remembers Seraphim, monk of the monastery of Sarov and one of the Russian Church's greatest spiritual masters. Born in Kursk in 1754, he became a monk at the age of eighteen. After ordination he retired to a forest hermitage for a number of years. There he fed bears without any harm but had worse luck with humans; he was robbed and severely beaten by three thugs. At their trial he appealed for clemency and one of the men underwent conversion and became a monk himself. Eventually Seraphim returned to his monastery and quickly became recognized as a starets. For the rest of his life he would consult with dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people every day. One of these was his disciple Motovilov, who left an account of his conversations with the monk from which the following excerpt is taken. Seraphim reposed in 1833.

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However prayer, fasting, vigil and all the other Christian practices may be, they do not constitute the aim of our Christian life. Although it is true that they serve as the indispensable means of reaching this end, the true aim of our Christian life consists of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts and vigils and prayer and almsgiving and every good deed done for Christ's sake, these are only the means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God. Mark my words, only good deeds done for Christ's sake brings us the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at Saturday, January 02, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 comments


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