Lighting Our Little Lights

Two Bright Lights from my life: Metropolitan Vitaly and my godmother Princess Eve Galitzine, Memory Eternal!

A Conversation with Metropolitan Vitaly, 1986

Having been baptised recently, you are very happy and think everything is good- all of our sins have been erased from the Book of Life, and we are now assured of being admitted into Heaven, Paradise. But, for some reason, even though we’ve been baptised, we continue to commit many of the same sins. And when we meet with others, we sometimes find it difficult to get along with them. This is because both we and other people are full of passions which don’t get along with one another. I am asking you to be realistic. It is important to realize that the Church is not a Society of Saints, but a hospital in which we can sometimes hear screaming. And like all hospitals there are some doctors in it. And it is necessary to to take bitter medicine to help us struggle with our passions. Saints are people who have struggled with, and overcome their passions. They are healthy people, but they’re still in the hospital… We are all sinners, but we in the Church want to struggle with our sins. …

When we go before an icon it is important not just to bow down with our bodies, but to bow down our souls. Why do we light a candle before the icon? When we light a candle we are lighting our little light before Christ, and the burning candle symbolizes our life from beginning to end. In this context, all our actions must come from the inside, not the outside, including our work and everything we’re doing… All our life is a fight against two things, our soul and our body/flesh. The fight goes on until we die… We must always try to remember our goal of acquiring the Grace of the Holy Spirit, then we’ll be intelligent Christians.

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