St. Sergius of Radonezh

On September 25 in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate the death of St. Sergius of Radonezh, one of the most beloved saints of Russia.  In the recorded life of St. Sergius, it is said: “He diligently read the Holy Scriptures to obtain a knowledge of virtue; in his secret meditations training his mind in a longing for eternal bliss.  Most wonderful of all, none knew the measure of his ascetic  and godly life spent in solitude.  God, the Beholder of all hidden things, alone saw it.”   For us we learn that St. Sergius studied the Scriptures daily in order to learn how to please God and to do God’s will.  We also learn that even his fellow monks did not know his ascetic practices – he practiced them privately and quietly – he didn’t constantly talk about his fasting discipline or judge the discipline of others.  He understood the lessons of Matthew 6:1-16 quite well, and practiced them!    According to those who knew him, “To increase his own fear of the Lord he spent day and night in the study of God’s word.”   St. Sergius gives us witness to how we can live and learn to serve God and neighbor.