April 20

Life according to the will of God is becoming very difficult. That is because, when you live in the midst of temptations and have them constantly before your eyes, it is impossible not to be influenced by them. Just as ice in the presence of warmth loses its firmness and is converted into the softest water, so even a heart overflowing with goodwill, if exposed to the constant influence of temptations, is weakened and changed. Life according to the laws of God is becoming very difficult on account of the widespread, general apostasy.

The increasing apostates, by calling themselves and appearing outwardly to be Christians, will all the more easily be able to persecute the true followers of Christ. The increasing apostates surround true Christians with countless snares, and put countless obstacles in the way of their salvation and their good intention to serve God…the Savior of the world could scarcely find refuge in insignificant and remote Nazareth in order to hide from Herod and from…[those] who so hated Him. So too, in the last times a true [Christian] will hardly be able to find some remote and unknown refuge in which to serve God with some degree of freedom, and not be drawn by the violence of apostasy and the apostates into the service of Satan.

O disastrous time!…O moral disaster, unnoticeable for people who live only the life of the senses, yet incomparably greater than all material, glaring disasters! O disaster that begins in time and does not end in time, but passes into eternity! O disaster of disasters, realized only by certain true Christians and true monks, but unknown to those whom it seizes and destroys!

~Ignatius Brianchaninov

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