Igumen Nikon: On the Wisdom and the Meaning of Life

“We are all littered with trash,
and yet underneath that
the twinkle of the True Self flickers.”



“First of all seek the Kingdom of God and its truth. If you work for the body, you must work for the soul too. Your heart needs to be cultivated more than a garden does. It is necessary to pray and to listen to oneself, to cope with your thoughts, not to quarrel over trifles, yield to each other, even if the business has suffered (then you will win many times more). Rather make peace, open your mind, communicate more often. It’s better to ruin the job, but keep peace with your neighbor. Remember that!

Try to live so that people leave comforted because of you and they thank God because of you.

In my opinion, people should be treated like a doctor treats his patients. We all have some kind of a disease. There in the hospital, they do not scold that someone fell ill with their lungs, heart, stomach, they do not say: “Oh you blind rascal, you’ve got sick eyes!” The same way you do not have to blame each other for spiritual illness, but endure and have compassion towards each other.

People deep down in their substance are much better than in their manifestation in life.

If we want someone to overcome himself and change his attitude towards us, then we ourselves must completely expel our inner hostility towards their hearts.

Do not judge other people. Mind your own business, as you are instructed. Do not interfere with other people’s lives. When possible, be silent; like a stone in the sea, let all words drown into you, whatever you hear; be compassionate, forgive all in soul and in fact. Close your eyes to the sins of others, and if you cannot help but see them, then pray for those who sin, as for yourself, so that the Lord forgives them, then you will receive mercy from the Lord.

It is also necessary that someone offends us, but not without reason, but so that a flaw is revealed, albeit exaggeratedly. I speak not from theory, but on myself I have experienced more than once the beneficence of this and quite confidently I say – offenders are our best teachers.

Do not be afraid of anything. Engrave in yourself the thought that there is not the slightest movement in the whole world without the knowledge and permission of God. The Lord guides, arranges circumstances so that it is easiest for man to be saved. Not only God takes care of humanity as a whole, but also each individual person is taken care of, every minute God holds him in His hand, protects him from invisible and visible enemies, instructs him through people and through books and life circumstances.

There is only one single way left for our time: patience of sorrows.

Search for the Kingdom of God and its truth, and according to the indisputable word of God Himself, a word stronger than heaven and earth, everything necessary in material life will be added unto you. Although God tests His servants, he also watches over everything, spiritual and bodily needs, and gives everything at the right time to those who trust in God, rather than their dexterity, strength, ability, etc. He who seeks to please God will not be abandoned by God.

Being too upset by external difficulties is a sign of low confidence; being too upset with internal difficulties is a sign of pride. Do not overload yourself with bodily labor. The best way is the middle one. Too healthy and too weak interferes with each other. The success of a spiritual life is measured not by spiritual comforts, which can also come from the wicked, but by the depth of humility. Not the deeds, but humility tilt God to mercy.”

Excerpts from Igumen Nikon’s works.


~Igumen Nikon was a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church (since 1956 in the rank of hegumen) and spiritual writer. He is known for his numerous letters to his spiritual children, the majority of which are published in the book We Were Left Behind the Penance.

© Excellence Reporter 2020


Categories: Christianity

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