Saint Elder Seraphim Romantsov about the False Unceasing Prayer

Archimandrite Raphael (Karelin). "The mystery of salvation. Conversations about spiritual life." Schema-Archimandrite Seraphim. [1]

Elder Seraphim (Romantsov)

Obedience is necessary, absolutely necessary, like air, for acquisition of grace. A monk without obedience was not considered a monk by Fr. Seraphim. True, real, not imaginary and illusory spiritual path is possible only through complete obedience to his elder. Fr. Seraphim considered external feats of retreat and fasting to be secondary to obedience, that is, the help, and not the foundation of monastic life. A feat of the body should be based on the blessing of the elder and to be precisely defined. Fr. Seraphim believed that without obedience one cannot practice the Jesus prayer: it will remain at the level of repetition of sounds, not being able to touch the heart that is hardened in pride. Fr. Seraphim said to one monk (what I think daring and I would not repeat it, if I did not hear it myself): "You do not have any prayer of Jesus: you just got used to it, as some people get used to the bad language."[2]

Once, when I was with Father Seraphim in Sukhumi, a nun came to him; it was that nun to whom monk Mercury devoted a considerable part of the book "In the mountains of the Caucasus." Fr. Seraphim, knowing her unusually severe fasting, started by saying: "You should have a hot meal once a day" She looked at Father Seraphim with amazement, "Do I have to waste the time and distract the mind from the prayer to prepare lunch?" Fr. Seraphim widely crossed himself: "Cross my heart, that you don’t have any prayer and never had it". When she left, Fr. Seraphim said, "She did not understand anything. The one, who gave her the schema, was in delusion himself. Poor soul, how much struggles she will have!"

[1] Schema-Archimandrite Seraphim is glorified by UOC MP as a local saint on 21.08.2010, commemoration on December 19/January 1.

[2] From these words it is clear that Father Seraphim could not sympathize with the movement of Imiaslavie. - Ed.

Source (Russian)

Related articles