Archive for the ‘Elder Anatole of Optina’ Category

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Reason for Marriage

February 10, 2010

From a conversation of a young lady with Elder Anatole Potapov of Optina:

“Now you’re going to tell me you want to get married?”

I was silent.

“You love him now for his good looks. Marry him when you feel that you can’t live without him. I know of one case: the husband was at war and was killed. His wife died at home in that same hour. When it’s like that with you, then get married.” 

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Elder Anatole on Pride

January 30, 2010

Pride comes in various forms. There is worldly pride: this is knowledge; and there is spiritual pride: this is self-love. This is exactly so: people will truly go insane if they expect their intellect to cope with everything they hope to receive from it. But how can our mind get down to its own business, since it is insignificant and infected? Take from it that which it is able to give, and make no further demand upon it. Our teacher is humility. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and the grace of God is everything. That is your greatest wisdom. Humble yourself and say to yourself: ‘Although I’m a speck of earthly dust, still God cares for me, and may the will of God be done in me.’ If you say this, not only with your mind, but also with your heart, and really boldly—as becomes a true Christian—relying on the Lord with a firm intention to submit to the will of God—whatever it may be—without murmuring, then the clouds will disperse before you and the sun will look out, and will enlighten and warm you. And you will know true joy from the Lord and everything will seem clear and transparent to you, and you will cease tormenting yourself, and it will become light in your soul. – Elder Anatole (Potapov) of Optina