A Mighty Battle

We are faced with a mighty battle but an especial, holy battle, not like the fratricidal wars that crowd the history of our world ever since Cain killed his brother Abel. Our common and only real enemy is our mortality. We must grapple painfully with the death that pervades all things, first and foremost ourselves. The Lord’s gospel belongs to another, higher, celestial plane, where everything is ‘not after man, and not of man.’ It would be criminal to belittle its eternal dimensions – that would cancel its power of attraction and even meaning for people. Of course, Christ’s commandments, ‘Love your enemies…Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is heaven is perfect’ – surpass our mind and our strength. But Christ in our flesh manifested this perfection: ‘He overcame the world.’ Which means victory can be given to us, too. ‘The seed is the word of God.’ May it be in us as seed not of this world. After death, having fallen in compatible soil, it will produce imperishable fruit.

The Elder Sophrony in On Prayer

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