Friday, January 17, 2020

St. Sophrony of Essex on the Building of Churches

Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow (source)
"It is difficult to built a church today. It will rouse up all the demons," said St. Sophrony of Essex, as he proceeded to tell a parable that he had heard in Russia: "Once, someone went to Hell, but there, he wanted a church so he could pray. Despite his sinfulness, he loved God and wanted to pray. He began to measure the space to lay the foundations. A demon asked him what he was doing, and he replied: 'I want to build a holy church in order to pray.' The demon responded that it was impossible to build a church in Hell, and he tried to hinder him. He then called other demons, and they were unable as well. They mentioned it to their leader, and then they gathered many demons and threw him out of Hell so that he might not build the church." And St. Sophrony continued: "Thus, we as well build churches in order to transform Hell into Paradise, and even if we are unsuccessful with this, we will succeed in the devil not accepting us in Hell."
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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