Valerian Krechetov, Honorary Rector of the Churches of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos and New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in the village Akulovo, Moscow region.
It is interesting that "repentance" (in Greek "metanoia") means restructuring, a change in the internal state; what should be happening in a person. The holy righteous Alexiy Mechyov famously said: “When you don’t know what to do, imagine that Jesus Christ is in your place. How would he act? That is, turn your eyes to the gospel. His son, Hieromartyr Sergiy Mechyov, said that one must have a dispensation. We have a mood, but here there is a dispensation, an internal structure of feelings, that is, a spirit.
It is remarkable that everywhere there is a trinity - spirit, soul, and body.
Those, who are a little familiar with the musical world, know that there is harmony, melody, and rhythm. Spirit is harmony, order; it can be major or minor. In general, harmony and melody are the most important in music. Rhythm - insofar as, in church singing, it is almost imperceptible. But in the world, in worldly music, rhythm is everything. As for harmony, it's hard to say, the melodies are also often incomprehensible. And the rhythm, that is, the body, is in the foreground. Why are discotheques musical cemeteries? There are only corpses. Because it is rhythmic, corpse music. Oh, great and mighty Russian language! Therefore, it is harmony, order, spirit - and there is the most important thing. There can be many melodies, the rhythm is also different - one is smoother, the other is sharp. So many people, so many ways. And the spirit must be one - the Spirit of God. The Lord said to the apostles: "You do not know, what kind of spirit you are." In his book "The Tsar's Testament", St. Nikolay of Serbia describes how Prince Lazar, in his last minutes on Earth, turned to the Angel: "I am already on the threshold of this life and still do not know what to ask God." The angel told him: "From beginning to end, every day, every moment of your life, you need to ask for two things - the forgiveness of sins and the grace of the Holy Spirit."
Practically speaking, the Angel said the same thing that St. Serafim said to Motovilov: the meaning of life lies in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, God. But for this, you must first cleanse the vessel, into which the Spirit moves. Therefore, we say: “Create a pure heart in me, oh God, and renew a right spirit in my belly… And let the walls of Jerusalem be built” (50th psalm). The walls of Jerusalem are a reconstruction of the temple of the soul. "The whole bodily temple is defiled." Moreover, when a priest takes communion, a prayer is read, where the Heavenly Jerusalem is mentioned. The holy city of Jerusalem was shown in a revelation to John the Theologian. It's just like there is a temple of the soul, which a person must cleanse, so that later the grace of the Holy Spirit will dwell in it. "Create a pure heart in me, oh God, and renew a right spirit in my belly."
– How to force a child to perform useful deeds for his spiritual development? How to combine punishment and reward?
– When raising children, one must remember a simple truth: we are co-workers with God and the Angels. It is said about them in the Catechism: "Angels are spirits sent to serve those, who want to inherit salvation." These are the Guardian Angels that are given to us at Baptism, and the Angels, who are our heavenly saints, who also intercede for us, who take care. The Lord vouchsafed me to communicate with a distant relative of Metropolitan Filaret (Drozdov), who appeared to him and said: “You were delivered from death many times (and he was a doctor in the war). You lead such a temperate life (he never ate meat in his life, he never drank not only wine, but also no strong drinks, no coffee, no tea; naturally, he did not smoke). Do you think it's just that?
I have been watching your every step since the very cradle. So, we do not yet know, by whom we are protected from there. Therefore, we are co-workers. And we must try, as Metropolitan Pitirim said, not to interfere with God.
There is one saying of St. Filaret: “With advice, you can only go to an open door; on a closed door, you can knock with prayer.” That is, wait until the Lord opens this door, when a person can hear. This truth was spoken in antiquity in these words: the wise is silent until the time, the fool speaks without time. When you feel that a person does not hear, is irritated, is not able to perceive, then you need to wait. There is a saying: to answer before the question is asked is madness. And if this question does not arise, and you try to inspire him - maybe you're knocking on closed doors. But then prayer is needed.
Moreover, if something does not work out, then you need to remember your sins, your weaknesses, ask for God's help. Because you have to start with yourself. I remember a wonderful case, a childish saying (they sometimes say that it beats everything; somehow the thought came to me that it was necessary to make a children's patericon...). So, dad gets annoyed, he has six children, they don’t listen, and one child says: “Dad, don't scold him. Better pray for him and say, "Lord, forgive me." What logic is there in children's reasoning is difficult to understand. But it’s true. Because, as Father Ioann (Krestyankin) said to one servant of God: “Well, why do you want to do the person from your child that you could not do from yourself?” Each person has his own inner world, and what happens in it, is known to God alone. Therefore, we must try to listen to the voice of God, when to speak and when not. Capture the moment. After all, even the wife will not ask for something, if the husband is irritated; she'll come, when he's in a good mood. The same thing for a child. When children are annoyed, they don't hear anything. "Do not rebuke an insane, don’t let him hate you." He will hate you. And when they are in a calm state, then they can hear something. I recall my own, so to speak, modest experience. Four boys were fighting, it's quite natural. And before going to bed they are already calm, I say: “Look, you are lying, the toys are lying. You don't fight now, do you? Why were you fighting? To take away you need strength, and humility to give in.” After a while, I look - the two came to grips, I say: “Who has humility, then?” They, once, let go of each other. Then somehow one took away a toy from the other, and the other one was sitting on the bed, and in order not to fall, he had to let go, otherwise he would have fallen.
But he says: “But I still have humility.” You can teach when they listen. It is also very good to pray before you say something.
After all, we plant a seed not when we want to, but when the soil is prepared, when it can germinate. Likewise it is with the soul.
How to combine punishment and reward? Both of these have the same goal - for a person to comprehend something. But it is desirable to explain to the child not from the point of view of momentary benefits: you will do it, and then I will give you something. It is better to disclose promising benefits, so that children understand.
I once came to my daughter - and there was a fight, a quarrel of children, when they were still small.
I say: “Valya (and this is my namesake, Valeriyan Mikhailovich), what cannot be taken away from a person?” He looks carefully, begins to breathe less often. I say: “You know, baby, you can’t take away the skill. Here's what to buy. They took away your instrument, but they don’t know how to play it, what’s the point of taking away? It is necessary not to have, but to be able. He then says to his father: “As grandfather said interestingly, the difference is in one letter... (“imet” versa “umet”, “to have” versa “to be able”)” I asked the schoolchildren this question: “What cannot be taken away from a person?” They say: "Soul." “What else?” - "Mind". - "Correct. What else?" There's a pause. Because the matter was about work. I say "mastery". You need to show perspective. I explain to the children: “Obedience is the development of willpower.” If you do not obey, you will be a weak-willed person. By the way, the boys come fit from the army. Get up, attention, go. You look, he acquires this skill to obey. There is such an example in patristic literature: when one servant of God wanted to be a martyr, he was given a condition: to come to the service before everyone else, to leave later than everyone else. It was what he performed. Then the second: never fall asleep during the vigil (and it lasted several hours, maybe 10). And this he also did. And the third: when a mosquito or some insect bites you, do not scratch. He said, "I can't do this." "Well then, you can't be a martyr yet." – The concept of confession on the eve of communion differs for different priests. Is it "yesterday" or one, two, three days before communion?
— Usually they go to confession the night before, then commune in the morning; for a few days, it is not customary somehow. In general, confession and communion are things that are connected with us. But other churches are a little different. Whatever the case, you must confess. Hieromartyr Father Sergiy Mechyov especially emphasized this: the most important thing in life is repentance. Because, of course, there is nothing higher than Communion. But the thing is – do you take communion? After all, as the prayer says, “Let Communion be for me not in judgment or condemnation...” And if it is in condemnation? Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to repentance, to correction, to the intention to improve. And communion, it is depending on circumstances. If you forgot to say something at confession, when you take communion, you can repent, ask God for forgiveness.