On what support

Written by Fr. Lev Gillet, also known as “A Monk of the Eastern Church,” In Thy Presence is a book of short spiritual reflections on the presence of Christ. As in the case of the quotation below, these reflections are sometimes imagined as words spoken from our Lord to the believer.

“Poor children, you want to manage without Me. What then will you look to for support?

Poor child, thou thinkest to escape Me by plunging into what thou dost believe to be nature, into what thou callest nature. But what thou dost clasp is not nature in its truth, in its depth.

Thou thinkest to live a fuller life by estranging thyself from the Love which goes beyond all limits and loves beyond the visible. Thou desirest to give thyself exclusively to the visible. Thou doest speak of asserting thy personality, of realising thyself. Thou dost speak of earthly foods, and expect from them harmony and joy.

But thou wilt run up against the refusal with which all the elements of creation will oppose thee. The universe gives no peace to him who professes to separate any situation or person from total Love.

Thou seekest the support of reality. Thou dost conceive of nature alone as being what is real. Thou dost want to lean on a reed, and this reed will pierce thy hand.

In a world where everything is bound by a Love that is limitless, all the creatures which thou dost desire to separate and grasp by themselves, without reference to absolute Love, will withdraw from thee, one after another. Thou wilt be left alone, wounded, lying helpless on the road. Everything will abandon thee at the moment when thou dost abandon Me.

Poor child, whom wilt thou find to save thee, if not Me? Whom wilt thou find to love thee, if not Me?”

Excerpt from In Thy Presence by Lev Gillet, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1977, p. 25.

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