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Lessons from St. John Kronstadst

Comprehension of Spiritual Warfare

St. John: “Once ordained a priest and pastor, I soon learned through experience with whom I had entered into combat in my spiritual arena, namely with the powerful, cunning, unsleeping prince of this world, who breathes evil and perdition and the fire of hell, and with the sub-celestial spirits of evil…This battle with the strong and cunning invisible enemy plainly showed me how many infirmities, weaknesses, and sinful passions there were in me, how strong a hold the prince of this world had over me, and how I had to struggle hard with myself, with my sinful inclinations and habits, and conquer them, so as to be as far as possible invulnerable to the arrows of the enemy.”


St. John: “The spiritual warfare began, and with it watchfulness over oneself, the sharpening of spiritual sight, teaching oneself uninterrupted secret prayer and the invocation of the All-saving Name of Christ.”

An Example of Balance: Inner and Outer Life in the Church

St. John: “Both public and private prayer are necessary in order that we may lead a truly Christian life, and that the life of the spirit should not become extinct in us. It is indispensable that we should attend divine service in church with faith, zeal and understanding, just as it is indispensable to provide a lamp with fuel or power if it is to burn and not go out.”

Loving the Christian Community

St. John: “How can you worthily, with faith and love, receive the Body of Christ when you despise His members or have not compassion upon them? All Christians are members of Christ, and especially the poor. Love His members, have compassion upon them, and the Master will plentifully bestow His rich mercy upon you.”

Salvation in the Church

“The Church is the sure way to the life eternal; walk in it undeviatingly, hold fast to it, and you will gain the kingdom of heaven; but if you turn aside at the crossways of your own sophistry and unbelief, then you have only yourself to blame, you will go astray and be lost. I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

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