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The Sunflower: Conforming the Will of Man to the Will of God

The Sunflower: Conforming the Will of Man to the Will of God

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May our love for the Sun, the will of God, be as strong as the sunflower’s, so that even in days of hardship and sorrow we will continue to sail unerringly along the sea of life, following the directions of the barometer and compass of God’s will that leads us to the safe haven of eternity. —St John of Tobolsk

This is a thoroughly practical manual of the spiritual life that focuses on the central goal of every Christian: discerning the will of God and struggling to mold our life to it, just as Christ “humbled Himself and became obedient” (Philippians 2:8).

Saint John addresses fundamental questions: Why should we care about God’s will ? What are the benefits in following His will? How do we avoid common obstacles to living in accordance with His will? The reader will find practical and eternal wisdom running through these writings that discuss the perennial questions of why a good God permits evil. This is the first English edition of St John’s text, edited and abbreviated for the contemporary reader.

St John Maximovitch (1651-1715) was Metropolitan of Tobolsk and all Siberia. He served as a missionary in Siberia and was known for his unpretentiousness and his generosity to the poor. His veneration among the people grew after his repose and he was glorified by the Russian Church in 1916, becoming the last canonized saint of the pre-revolutionary period. He is best known today as the namesake and ancestor of the great 20th-century saint of the Russian diaspora, St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

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