st. john the wonderworker
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Faithful in the Little Things

Molly Sabourin

Saint John Maximovitch on the Little Things

It is hard to pray at night. But try in the morning. If you can’t manage to pray at home than at least as you ride to your place of employment attempt with a clear head the “Our Father” and let the words of this short prayer resound in your heart. And at night commend yourself with complete sincerity into the hands of the Heavenly Father. This indeed is very easy.

And give, give a glass of cold water to everyone who has need of it; give a glass filled to the brim with simple human companionship to everyone that lack it, the very simplest companionship…

O wondrous path of little things, I sing thee a hymn! Surround yourselves, O people, gird up yourselves with little works of good — with a chain of little, simple, easy and good feelings which cost us naught, a chain of bright thoughts, words and deeds. Let us abandon the big and the difficult. That is for them that love it and not for us for whom the Lord in His Mercy, for us who have not yet learned to love the greater, has poured forth the lesser love everywhere, free as water and air.

Doesn’t this just make you want to weep with relief?! Throughout my life, especially when I was home with my tiny children, I have agonized over my inability to do great things in the name of Christ. How was I to extract myself from the demands of my daily “mundane” responsibilities that I might get out there all in it and feed the hungry, comfort widows and orphans, travel to poverty stricken nations bearing much needed supplies and medicine? Heck, I could barely cross myself and pray a feeble, “Lord have mercy” before crashing into bed, or refrain from losing my temper about a thousand times a day.

…As a matter of fact, the lesser good is more necessary for mankind than the greater. People can get along with their lives without the greater good; without the lesser they can not exist. Mankind perishes not from a lack of the greater good, but from an insufficiency of just this lesser good. The greater good is no more than a roof, erected on the brick walls of the lesser good.

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