Peace be to you, the peace of God which is superior to all understanding and unites man to God. In order for this peace to overshadow man it is necessary to labor to acquire a peaceful disposition of soul, tolerating the deficiencies of one another and forgiving all people all sorts of offenses.
“Bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” [Gal 6:2] The one who fulfils this law is overshadowed by the peace of Christ which is higher than common human understanding. This peace makes man insensitive to worldly sorrows and suffering, removes every attraction to this world, and draws him on high. It gives birth in man’s heart to love towards all which veil over all the inadequacies of those close to us so that we do not even notice these inadequacies and makes us pity others more than ourselves. This is the kind of peace that all believers are called to, and especially monastics. If we do not have this peace then let’s at least cry before God that we are poor, wretched, naked of every good and let’s stop judging and reproaching one another, being good-for-nothings and in danger of being cast away from the Lord. “We tried to heal Babylon, but she was not healed” [Jer 28:9 LXX]. How long will the Lord suffer us? God’s love is connected to God’s truth according to which Adam was driven from paradise, the earth was flooded, Sodom and Gomorrah were burnt, and the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins. So let’s humble ourselves before each other and before the Lord, weep for our unhealed wounds, and, according to our strength, compel ourselves to love one another. Then, for our humility and patience towards others, the Lord will be patient with us and treat us according to the law: by what measure you have measured you will be measured. [Matt 7:2] But if we are going to give ourselves up to the passions without a fight then the only thing awaiting us is rejection. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of peace, love, joy, meekness, etc., while being in an opposite state we will not be let into the Kingdom of God. We have to break ourselves, to weep for the decay of our souls and entreat, like the leper, so that the Lord will heal and cleanse us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” the doors of repentance, tears, and tenderness, from which is born peace and salvation. Let it be!
Igumen Nikon (Vorobyov)