Thoughts from St. John of Kronstadt…

before his death.

“Owing to my old age (79 years) each day represents God’s special grace, each hour and every minute: my physical strength has become exhausted, but in compensation my spirit is brisk and burns toward my beloved Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. How many pledges of grace from God have I received and am receiving; I trust this will also be in the future life, after death; while death is a birth unto life everlasting, but God’s mercy and love of mankind. God be praised! Fifty-two years of my priesthood have passed by God’s grace and mercy; I am still alive, although ailing. For so many years of blessed priesthood I shall be unable to thank the Lord, One in the Trinity. I served as I could, as I was able, and tried to do my best, but I made mistakes, was unwell, was strongly attracted by the enemy. Cover up, O Lord, all my sins with Thy mercy! What shall I render unto Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast granted me the mercy to have been born and brought up in the Orthodox Faith and Church and in our dear, priceless homeland, Russia, in which the Orthodox Church has been implanted from remotest times. I thank and praise Thee, the best I can, by Thy grace! Lord, there are no words in the human tongue worthy to thank Thee for all those countless blessings, revealed by Thy goodness to me, a sinner, throughout the course of my life, which has passed before Thy Face, Gracious Father! Even until now, already the seventy-ninth year hast Thou protected and saved me daily, and now especially, because of my enemies, seeking to swallow me up for the reason that I am Thy servant, though an unworthy one. But grant unto me, O Lord, the grace to thank Thee perfectly and to achieve a pure life, created for me through penance; grant that I may avoid the deceptive attractions of multifarious sin, which battles against me and wants to steal me away from Thee. Grant me to glorify Thee, loudly, loudly in this godless world.”

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