2 March 1947
" Christ is in our midst!
You write that you are not stable, and so it is, you are like a reed shaken by the wind. When a breeze of news blew, you began to sway to and fro. And the reasons are these: distraction and inattention to your inner life, and weakness of resolve to follow God's will. As soon as you hear praise of your homeland you are ready to go there. But you must realize that wherever you go, you will carry your inner chaos with you. There too you will meet people, not angels, and the Kingdom of God is not outside us, but within.
If we see to the one thing needful, then all the rest will be added, for this was said by the Lord Himself.
Today is Sunday (the Feast of Orthodoxy). A week of the fast has already gone, time is flying as if on wings. How short is this earthly life or ours in comparison to the eternal life to come - like a grain of sand in the sea. And yet we give so little thought to eternity and prepare ourselves poorly for it. Indeed we have made ourselves very worldly and have forgotten tto ponder the one thing needful.
'Lord, give me remembrance of death.' "
I especailly like where he says:
"But you must realize that wherever you go, you will carry your inner chaos with you."
I like to "translate" this into: "Wherever I go, there am I." Meaning that it is not in the external changing of situations: job, home, location, more money, less responsiblity, a different spouse, etc.,etc, that I will find that which I seek, contentment. No. It is in the changing of me within to meet those external situations as they are. In other words, to paraphrase, "Life on life's terms".
I must mold myself to whatever circumstance presents itself to me, not seek the changing of the circumstance in the hopes that here is happiness, here is that elusive peace I seek. it is not. Again, it is in the changing of me.
The kicker is that knowing this, I yet lack the power to bring about the necessary change. This is our Lord's business. I present this vessel to Him, to His service, as I am and He does the changing, in His own time as He sees fit. He is the Great Physician, who knows my ailment and even understands my blindnesss to it and my insistence that I actually know the exact nature of the ailment. I even give Him pointers.
Anyway, these are thoughts on just this one particular line, "But you must realize that wherever you go, you will carry your inner chaos with you", within the letter.