Archimandrite John (Krestyankin) departed to God fifteen years ago on 5 February 2006 at the Pskov-Pechory Lavra. Today, we pay tribute to this exceptional and wise shepherd to his flock and share with you some fragments from his teachings.
Faith is like putting up the building of our life, done with great patience and love.
Life is a difficult matter these days; its already delicate balance is battered under a tidal wave of intimidating news. To spare us from the pains of this storm raised by our enemy, we must have unwavering faith in the Lord as the only ruler of the world, and we must guide ourselves as much as possible by His commandments.
We can only know with certainty that the Lord never errs or does injustice and that He is infinitely merciful.
The Kingdom of God grows within us, and this does not depend on where we live.
…there is no government that is not from God. During his service, Bishop Nonn saw the rules change twice. He met the Pagan and the Orthodox ruler in the same way – with a cross and a greeting. Yet he met the Pagan ruler as the club of God’s wrath, and the Orthodox ruler as God’s mercy and blessing.
The enemy… works around you covertly, causing you to stray off the true path of Christian salvation and succumb to mutinous political passions.
I asked the Holy Patriarch Alexius how to respond to the rebels within and outside who are calling others to follow. He replied,
“Father John, Do you remember what I gave you at your ordination?
That’s right. Do everything that is written there, and bear with the consequences.
That is all the advice that I can give you.
The faithful should be the salt of the earth and not isolate themselves from other people. Preach your faith in words, but even more so, preach with your life, helping the lost and passionate to find their way.
Human happiness is nothing else than unity with God and fulfilment of His salvific commandments. Deal with your crucial life problems from this perspective.
Live not according to your will, but according to God’s will. When your impotence becomes fully visible, your readiness for self-reproach will grow naturally, and humility will only be a step away. Trust in God’s mercy is all that is left, yet this is exactly what you should strive for.
Today, there is no shortage of daring ones; the challenges of our lives are the same, and so is our need for salvation, yet we have grown so insensitive that only a grave misfortune can bring back in us the sense of our vulnerability and make us turn to God.
The first cause of our hardships and pain is our unwillingness to accept the things that come from God and our persistence in pursuing our own will. Yet God loves us more than we love ourselves; for we are fully ignorant in matters of the spirit and always look for the comfort of our flesh.
Christianity is a life exploit; it is a calling to carry the cross and do hard work. Yet to many, Christianity is little more than lip service, and only as long as the skies are clear.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds