All Saints for February 5


The great Abba Ischyrion was asked by his monks: `What have we accomplished'?T 'We have fulfilled the commandments of God', replied Ischyrion. `And what will those who come after us accomplish?T 'They will accomplish what we have accomplished, but only half as much as we.' `And those after them?"Those in the last days will have no monastic training, but such assaults and temp-tations will come upon them that they will, through these trials, be revealed in the Kingdom of God as greater than us and than our fathers.'


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as the one true Enlightener: 1. As the enlightener of every single man. 2. As the enlightener, in consequence, of groups of men and of humanity as a whole. 3. As the enlightener who enlightens the mind, heart and will of man with an enduring light.


-on death as sleep.

`Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep' (Jn. 11:11).

The Lord of life calls death sleep. Oh, what an unspeakable comfort that is to us! Oh, what sweet tidings for the world! Physical death does not, then, mean the annihilation of man but only his repose, from which he can be roused by Him who first roused the dust to life by His word.

When the Lord cried: 'Lazarus!', the man awoke and lived. The Lord knows the name of each of us. If Adam knew the name of each one of God's creatures, how could God not know each of us by name? Oh, sweet and life-giving voice of the only Lover of man-kind! That voice can make sons of God out of stones. How can it not wake us from the sleep of sin? A man picked up a stone to slay his brother, but at that moment he heard the voice of his mother calling his name. Only hearing her voice, his hand trembled and he let fall the stone, ashamed of his intended sin. His mother's voice roused him from the death of sin. And if the voice of a mother can save and rouse from death, what about the voice of the Creator and Life-giver?

When the Lord called to any who were only physically dead, they awoke and arose. But not all of those who were dead in soul awoke and arose when the Lord called them. For, for that rousing, for that resurrection, the agreement of the will of the deceased is necessary. `Judas, betrayest thou with a kiss?', cried the life-giving Voice, but the dead man remained a corpse and the sinner did not arouse. 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?', called the same life-giving Voice, and the man asleep in sin awoke and the dead man came to life. Deeper indeed than death is the sleep of sin, and the sleeper is not easily roused.

O sweet Lord, rouse us from the sleep of sin; waken us, O Lord. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.

* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
Please see our calendar for conversion between old and new calendar dates.


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