Feast of St Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria
SERAPHIM: If you knew what sweetness awaits the souls of the just in heaven, you would be resolved to endure all the sorrows, persecutions and insults in this passing life with gratitude. Even if your very cell were full of worms and they gnawed on your flesh throughout your entire life, you would accept it all in order not to lose that heavenly joy which God has prepared for those who love him. If the Apostle Paul himself was unable to describe heavenly glory and joy, what other human tongue could describe the beauty of the heavenly abode which the souls of the just inhabit? . . . I cannot tell you of the heavenly joy and sweetness which I experienced there.
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Ivan Tikhonovich: Fr Seraphim became silent and bowed forward slightly. His eyes were closed and his head was bowed. He gently massaged his breast around the heart with the palm of his right hand. His face began gradually to change and to give forth a wonderful light. Finally it became so bright that it was impossible to look on him. Such joy and heavenly rapture were expressed on his face that he could be called an earthly angel or a heavenly man.
—St Seraphim of Sarov with Ivan Tikhonovich, Russian Mystics