Illumined Path: Toward The Ultimate Goal

From “The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It” by St. Theophan the Recluse:

Illumined PathDo whatever falls to your hands, in your circle and in your situation – and believe that this is and will be your true work; nothing more from you is required. … Just exactly what is to be done? Nothing in particular, just that which presents itself to each one according to the circumstances of his life, and which is demanded by the individual events with which each of us meets. That is all.

God arranges the lot of each person, and the entire course of life of each one is also His all-good industry, as is each moment and each meeting. In all instances, and during each meeting, it is necessary to do what God wants us to do. As to what He wants, we certainly know that from the commandments He has given us. Is someone seeking help? Help him. Has someone offended you? Forgive him. Have you offended somebody? Rush to ask forgiveness and make peace. Did somebody praise you? Don’t be proud. Did somebody scold you? Do not be angry. Is it time to pray? Pray. Is it time to work? Work. Etc., etc., etc.

If, after all of this has been explained, you set about to act in this way in every instance, so that your works will be pleasing to God, having carried them out according to the commandments without any deviation, then all the problems of your life will be solved completely and satisfactorily. The purpose is the blessed life beyond the grave; the means are the works according to the commandments, the execution of which is required by each instance of life.

Do not think at all that this life is empty. Everything that you do here, no matter what it is, will be a work, and if you do it with the consciousness that such a work is according to the commandments and that God wants such a thing, then the work will be pleasing to God. So it is with every small thing.

Thus each step, each word, even each movement and glance, everything may direct one to walk in God’s will and, consequently, to move each moment toward the ultimate goal.

Illumined Path, providing reflections on finding Christ in our everyday lives, is a ministry of St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio.