From, A Conversation of St. Seraphim with N. A. Motovilov:
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taretz Seraphim said to Motovilov, "When you were a child you wanted to know the goal of the Christian life. . . yet no one told you anything definite. They instructed you to go to church, to pray, to do good works, telling you that there lay the goal of the Christian life. Some even said to you, 'Don't search into things that are beyond you.' Well, miserable servant of God that I am, I am going to try to explain to you what this goal is. Prayer, fasting, works of mercy–all this is very good, but it is only the means, not the end of the Christian life. The true end is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit."
"To acquire means to gain possession," he replied. "Your know what it means to earn money, don't you? Well, it is the same with the Holy Spirit. The aim of some men is to grow rich, to receive honors and distinctions. The Holy Spirit himself is also capital, but eternal capital. Our Lord compares our life to trading and the works of this life to buying: 'Buy from me gold … that you may be rich' He says (Rev. 3:18). Elsewhere He says, 'Make the most of the time, because the days are evil' (Eph. 5:16). The only true valuables on earth are good works done for Christ: these win us the grace of the Holy Spirit. But no good works can bring us the fruits of the Holy Spirit unless they are done for love of Christ.
"Among the works done for the love of Christ, prayer is the one that most readily obtains the grace of the Holy Spirit, because it is always at hand… Prayer is within the reach of all men and they can all give themselves to it, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, strong and weak, the sick and the healthy, the sinner and the righteous. Its power is immense; prayer, more than anything else, brings us the grace of the Holy Spirit."
"In our days, owing to the tepidity of our faith and to the lack of attention we give to God's intervention in our life, we are completely estranged from life in Christ. . . We have lost the simplicity of the early Christians and, with our so-called enlightenment, we plunge ourselves into dark ignorance."
"The fact that I am a monk and you a layman doesn't make any difference. What counts in God's eyes is true faith in Him and His only Son. It is for this that the grace of the Holy Spirit is given us; the Lord seeks hearts overflowing with love for Him and their neighbor, and this is the throne where he would sit and reveal himself in the fullness of His glory. 'My son, give me your heart', He says (prov. 23:26). For in the heart He builds the kingdom of God." I