Such terrible times are coming, the world is so exhausted from its scabs and sores, it so cries out to Christianity in the secret depths of its soul, but at the same time it is so far removed from Christianity, that Christianity cannot and dare not show it a distorted, diminished, darkened image of itself. It should scorch the world with the flame of Christ’s love, it should go to the cross on behalf of the world. It should incarnate Christ Himself in it. Even if this cross, eternally raised anew, be foolishness for our new Greeks and a stumbling block for our new Jews, for us it will still be “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24).

We who are called to be poor in spirit, to be fools for Christ, who are called to persecution and abuse – we know that this is the only calling given to us by the persecuted, abused, disdained, and humiliated Christ. And we do not only believe in the promises of blessedness to come: now, at this very moment, in the midst of this cheerless and despairing world, we already taste this blessedness whenever, with God’s help and at God’s command, we deny ourselves, whenever we have the strength to offer our soul for our neighbors, whenever in love we do not seek our own ends.

Mother Maria Skobtsova: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series)186.