john_kronstadtGod’s saints are near to believing hearts and, like the truest and kindest of friends, are ready in a moment to help the faithful and pious who call upon them with faith and love.

We have for the most part to send, and have sometimes to wait long for earthly helpers, whilst we have not to send for nor wait long for spiritual helpers:

the faith of Him who prays can place them close to his very heart in a moment, and he will as speedily receive through faith full spiritual help.

In saying this, I speak by experience;

by this I mean the frequent deliverance from affliction of heart through the intercession and patronage of the saints, and especially through the intercession of Our Lady, the Holy Virgin Mary.

Probably some would say that this is the action of simple and firm faith, and a determined assurance in our deliverance from affliction, and not the intercession of the saints for us before God.

No, it is not so. How can this be proved?

It can be proved by the fact that if I do not call upon the saints known to me in hearty prayer, without making any distinction, if I do not see them with my spiritual vision, then I shall obtain no help, however great assurance I may have felt of being saved without their help.

I recognise, I feel clearly, that I receive help through the names of those saints upon whom I have called, because of my lively faith in them. This happens just as everything happens in the usual order of earthly things.

First, I see my helpers by means of earnest faith; then, seeing them, I pray to them also with my whole heart, invisibly but intelligibly to myself;

after this, having received invisible help in quite an imperceptible manner, but sensibly to my soul, I simultaneously receive a strong conviction that this help has been obtained from them, just as a sick man, cured by a doctor, is convinced that he has been cured precisely by that doctor, and not by anyone else; that his illness has passed away not by itself, but through the help of this particular doctor.

All this comes to pass so simply that it is only necessary to have eyes in order to see. I am a man–and the grace, the truth and the righteousness of God are continually working within me.

It is God Who at one time cherishes and comforts me, and at another punishes and afflicts me with sorrows for any inward motion of the soul adverse to Him.

But the earth is full of men like me. Therefore, in them also God manifests His mercy, truth and righteousness, as in myself. “He worketh all in all.”

John of Kronstadt (1829-1908; Russian Orthodox): My Life in Christ, part 1, pp.31-32.

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