I’m waiting for you outside!

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God speaks to man:

“I see you go to church. I do not care what you do there, although I think you will pray. I do not care one bit whether you will stand in front of the altar or there beside the door, whether you will pray sitting or kneeling, with your head bend down or eyes closed, or you will look at the icon of the altar or you will hit your chest, you will move your lips whispering the words of the prayer, or you will turn your rosary between your fingers. These are all external and simple actions with which is not difficult to deceive a man.
I’m waiting for you outside! When you leave the church and you’ll go back among people, get ready for a meeting with me. Then I will follow you relentlessly, I will oversee you, I’ll adjudicate, and perhaps I will condemn you. I have a right to do that. In fact, I want to know: Did you really speak to God in the church or you were just poking with him … I want to assure myself – does the prayer really make a person different and better? As long as I assure myself that you are insolent, greedy, selfish, irritable, insulting, jealous, chatty, superficial, I will know that your prayer is not worth. As long as I assure myself that in the family, at work, at school, at the market, on the bus, on the street you don’t know how to talk to people, I will know with certainty that you do not even know how to talk to God. If you need somebody constantly to comfort you, to praise you, I will know that you don’t go to the church for the sake of God, to praise Him, but to bow to yourself.
But, if peaceful words are coming out of your lips, joy, words of trust and comfort, if your eyes are open to the distress of your neighbour, and your hand elevates the powerless ones, if your heart has an understanding of others and is forgiving and loving, I will know that in the church you really talked to God.
I’m waiting for you outside!”

Saint Seraphim of Vyritsa

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