When faced with difficulties (whether great or small) this akathist not only brings solace to the soul but helps in strengthening one's faith in the merciful providence of our loving Lord.
" O Lord, my Lord, my joy, grant that I may rejoice in Thy mercy!"
St Ignatius Brianchaninov (1807-1867) is renowned as a writer on the spiritual life in general. What is less well known is that throughout most of his adult life he struggled with chronic illness and disability. Thus his own life experience disposed him to reflect on the meaning of suffering for human existence and how through it we might find “a harbor for our hope.”
The saint frequently returns to these themes in many of his letters, newly translated into English and excerpted, adapted and presented here in thematic subject groups. For the translator these writings provided a source of consolation and encouragement during her husband’s lengthy illness and eventual death. They will equally benefit all who suffer physical or spiritual pain, however great or small, and reveal how the love of God may be experienced in its midst.
"Timidity and doubt do not suit you. As you look upon the powerful winds there is one who calls upon you to walk among the sorrowful seas that separate you from your brethren: It is the Lord Himself. This calling is also a blessed election! Christ marks “His own” with the seal of suffering. He found your soul useful for Himself and that is why He marks it with his seal! And the small flock stands out, as part of Christ, from among other people; Christ’s flock holds in its hands the sign of being chosen by Christ, the cup of Christ. On their shoulders there is a banner: The Cross of Christ. Far, far were they flung from the children of the world!"
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