All Saints for February 6


St Barsanuphius, who spent fifty years shut in his cell, forbidding himself the sight of a single man, attained an unusual insight through meditation and prayer. Here are some of the thoughts from his book, `Answers': `Every thought that is not preceded by the silence of humility does not originate in God. All that happens with confusion and bustle is of the devil.' `When you pray, and God is slow to hear you, He does this for your good, to help you learn pati-ence.' `Visible robbers are the servants of invisible robbers in the thoughts.' `The Lord Jesus Christ endured all things and finally ascended onto the holy Cross, which brought about the death of the body and the passions, and a holy and perfect rest.' `The Lord desires you to reverence every man more greatly than yourself.' When the starets was asked if he would use the services of a paid advocate in a dispute in which the monastery was engaged, he replied: `If you buy the advocacy of men, God wil I not be your advo-cate.'


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as a worker: 1. As a manual worker for many years. 2. As a spiritual worker, ceaselessly teaching, consoling and healing men and giving a new commandment to the world. 3. As a tireless worker who left the counsel:'work while it is yet light.'


- on the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son.

'l know Him, for I am from Him and He hath sent Me' (In 7:29).

No man has ever dared to say that he knows God. Many have said: `I believe in God', but the Lord Jesus alone has pronounced the words: `I know Him.' And He immediately explained how He knows Him, saying: `for I am from Him and He sent Me'. The first reason: `for I am from Him', testifies to the eternal being of the Son; and the second: `He sent Me', testifies to the temporal appearing of the Son in the physical world as an emissary of the Holy Trinity.

It is not given to us Christians to know the Father as His only-begotten Son knows Him, but it is given to us and demanded of us to believe. Our merit is in believing, not in knowing. If we all knew God through seeing Him, where would be the merit? What sort of merit is there in knowing through sight? But not to see and yet to believe - in that is merit and virtue and our salvation. We are not worthy to see God and to know Him by sight, for we are weakened by sin and alienated from God. But the mercy of God has given us faith, which can help us draw near to God in this life and lead us to the Kingdom of eternal seeing and knowing in the life to come.

Oh, my brethren, let us believe Christ the Lord, for He knows. He speaks not by faith but by sight.

O merciful Lord, strengthen our faith. Show us the hem of Thy garment, that we may grasp it and hold it to the end of our days. 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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