There lived the elder Zosima in a monastery, and a rumor circulated that miraculous healings happened by his prayers. A lot of people came from distant places to ask for his help. Monastic brethren were proud that their monastery had such an elder. But there were also many of those who envied, thinking: “Why does God not hear our prayers no matter how much we pray? We make so many bows, but all in vain! Yet God somehow accepts the prayers of this elder…”
Once a young novice decided to find out how Zosima performed wonders and why God listened to him. He thought that since the elder was kind, he might teach him… He came to the elder and asked: “Why do your prayers perform miracles, but ours don’t? Teach me your secrets! What if you die suddenly, who will glorify our monastery then?!” The elder looked kindly at him and said: “It’s hard to explain… I would say that I don’t pray at all… “It’s just necessary to kindle in the human heart the light similar to that of a candle or of an icon-lamp! “This light originates from love. “And one can expand this light of the soul up to immensity, like the light of the Sun!"
And then — the Great Light of the Holy Spirit appears and is ready to help! And I can see everything inside that Living Divine Light, as if there were no walls of my cell and as if there were no towers of the monastery. And inside this Light, every human body can be seen through and every soul can be understood regardless of distance. “It happens like this: I just need to start saying the words of the prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit, and It comes! The Light of God begins to flow like a river and embrace everything with Itself!
“This Light understands the love of the heart but not the words muttered by a person! “You ask how miracles occur… When the soul merges with this Light, I stop distinguishing where my love is and where — God’s Love! “In the River of Light, there are numerous Arms. It seems that they are mine but at the same time not mine fully… “I see those Arms of God That do His Work! Just as the arms of a ploughman or cook do their work so the similar Arms of the Holy Spirit work! “It is these Arms That can heal. If the Holy Spirit wants, I can — with these Arms — cleanse filth and diseases from the bodies. But if the Holy Spirit do not want — I can’t move even a finger tip. “Inside this Light of God, I can see diseases in the body of a sick person and vices in the soul.
“However, not every soul can be cleansed, not everyone can be helped… “The soul needs to be taught to love first! Otherwise, later it may become a debtor of God for that miracle!” … Zosima said this and smiled gently. But the young novice, in fright of the elder, fell to his knees and set his head against the floor… Then, crossing himself devoutly, he jumped out of the cell… Zosima sighed quietly: it seems that again not that man had come, whom God was talking about… This novice did not want to know about the warmth of the heart or about the spiritual heart love… So many years had passed already since Zosima began to look for a worthy disciple…
from the Book, the Parables about the Elder Zosima
Author: Zubkova, Anna Vladimir Antonov (Editor) Book: Parables about the Elder Zosima