Purifying the soul

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

Scripture: “I am willing… be clean!” (Mark: 1, 41)


"On the street, there is drainage water, muddy and dirty: raindrops, mixed with sand and waste, have turned into a dirty, muddy wave. But a bright ray of sun gazes on this water from the heavenly heights and decides to return it to its original purity. Descending to earth, the ray of sunlight lovingly and carefully draws to itself a drop of the muddy water, absorbs it, and carries it far, far away to snow-covered heights. There, the dirty raindrop is imbued with sunlight, surrenders to its warmth, and in the clean, translucent mountain air, amid the surrounding whiteness of the snow, suddenly becomes a pure snowflake, shining like a diamond and reflecting the bright rays of the sun.

"Couldn’t we apply the image of this purified drop to the life of a human soul? Earthly filth, the impurity of sin and the suffocating stench of destructive passions darkens, pollutes and kills the human soul, and extinguishes the Divine spark in it! It is surrounded by evil and darkness, like the raindrop in the muddy drainage water, – but the all-powerful love of God, through its grace, like a ray of sunlight, pierces this darkness, overcomes the power of sin, and does not scorn the fallen soul, but enters it, warms and revives it, and raises it from the ground. The poor, perishing, darkened and frozen heart awakens, and there arise in it new aspirations, a spiritual hunger and thirst, and a longing for the heavenly homeland!

“One’s gaze becomes fixed on the mountain peaks and searches for the heavenly light, a tremulous hope fills the sinful soul, and the Spirit of God, all-powerful and irrepressible, pulls it towards God, towards the Source of grace and truth! Little by little the life of Christ penetrates the sinful heart, renews it, and once renewed and washed in the Blood of the Lamb, made whiter than snow, the soul, joyful and radiant, enters into the abode of eternal light and eternal bliss!”

The images in the above meditation bring to mind the images in “The Great Divorce”, and its Bright Spirits, e.g. “Sarah Smith”, about whom Lewis’s companion (George MacDonald) says: “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to the back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter”.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

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