Wanting to further his spiritual efforts and devote himself to silence and Prayer, Saint Seraphim received the blessing to live alone, three and a half miles from the Monastery, in a remote part of the forest. He named his new home Mount Athos, and spent his time reading the Holy Gospel, the Holy Fathers and Service books. Saint Seraphim learnt many Church Hymns by heart, and sang them while cultivating a garden around his cell, and working in the forest.

“True hope seeks the Kingdom of God alone and is convinced that everything Earthly that is necessary for this transitory life will unfailingly be given. The heart cannot have peace until it acquires this hope. This hope pacifies it fully and brings joy to it. The most Holy lips of the Saviour spoke about this very hope: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).”

“It is very useful to spend time reading the Word of God in solitude and to read the whole Bible with understanding. In return for this exercise alone, without the addition of any other virtuous deeds, the Lord grants man His Mercy and fills him with the gift of understanding. When a man provides his Soul with the Word of God, the he is granted the understanding of what is good and what is evil.”

“The reading of the Word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is wholly warmed and is filled with Spiritual Gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word.”

“One should nourish the Soul with the Word of God: for the Word of God, as Saint Gregory the Theologian says, is Angelic bread, by which are nourished Souls who hunger for God. Most of all, one should occupy oneself with reading the New Testament and the Psalter, which one should do standing up. From this there occurs an enlightenment in the mind, which is changed by a Divine change.”

“One must not be content with progressing from disbelief to belief, but rather, one must strive to progress from belief to a better understanding of the Truth that he believes.”

“Whatever you do, do it gently and unhurriedly, because Virtue is not a pear to be eaten in one bite.”

“We should so train ourselves that the mind, as it were, swims in the law of the Lord by which we must guide and rule our life.”

“Some say that the shortage of oil of the foolish virgins signifies their shortage of good works in their lives. Such understanding is not exactly correct. How can they be short of good works if they, though foolish, are still called virgins? Chastity is a supreme virtue, the state of being equal to Angels, and could itself serve as a substitute for all other virtues. I humbly think that they were actually short of the Grace of God’s All-Holy Spirit. These virgins did good, and out of their Spiritual foolishness supposed that doing good was exactly the point of Christianity. They did good works and by this obeyed God, but they did not care in the least beforehand whether they had received or reached the Grace of God’s Spirit. This very gaining of the Holy Spirit is that oil which the foolish virgins lacked. They were called foolish because they forgot about the necessary fruit of virtue, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, without which no one is saved and no one can be saved, for: ‘it is by the Holy Spirit that any Soul is vitalized and exalted in chastity, and any Soul is lit by the Trinitarian Unity in Holy Mysteries’. The Holy Spirit moves into our Souls, and this installation of the All-Mighty into our Souls, and co-existence of His Trinitarian Unity with our spirit is given only through the gaining by all means, the Holy Spirit, which prepares in our Soul and body the Throne for God’s creative co-existence with our spirit in strict accordance with the word of God: ‘I will dwell among them and will be their God, and they will be my people’. This is the oil in the lamps of wise virgins, oil that burnt bright and long, so that the virgins with the burning lamps could wait until the Bridegroom who came at midnight, and enter with Him into the house of joy. But the foolish virgins, seeing that their lamps were going out, went to the marketplace to buy oil but would not come back in time, for the doors were already shut. The marketplace is our life; the door of the house of marriage (that was shut and did not lead to the Bridegroom) is our human death; wise and foolish virgins are Christian Souls; the oil is not works but the Grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God which is received through these works, and which converts things perishable into things imperishable, transforms spiritual death into spiritual life, darkness into light, the manger of our being, with passions tied like cattle and beasts, into the Divine Temple, into the Glorious Palace of never-ending rejoicing in Christ Jesus.”