All Saints for January 10


Vanity in dress has a particularly free reign in our day. He who has nothing else of which to be proud takes pride in his attire. He who might have something else, of more value than dress, in which to take pride, does not in fact do so. As gold is not found lying on the surface of the ground, so the spiritual worth of a man does not appear on the outside. There is a story of how a famous philosopher, on seeing a young man flaunting his attire, moved up to him and whispered in his ear: "You know, my boy, the ram got there first, with a fleece like that, but he's still just a ram!" To be a Christian and take pride in one's apparel is more foolish than to be a king and take pride in the dust beneath one's feet. While St Arsenius wore golden clothing in the royal palace, he never received the title `the Great'. He received it when he unhesitatingly gave himself to the service of God and clothed himself in tatters.


Let me ponder on the lowliness of the Lord Jesus, on: 1. The lowliness of the King born in a cave. 2. The lowliness of the Most Rich, in hunger and thirst. 3. The lowliness of the All-Powerful, entering into relationship with the lowly on earth.


- on contentment with that which is most necessary to us.

"And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content" (I Tim. 6:8).

God's apostles taught others that which they themselves fulfilled in their own lives. When they had food and raiment, they were con-tent. If and when it happened that they had neither food nor rai-ment, they were content. For their contentment did not come in waves from without but was poured forth within-Their contentment was not the basic contentment of animals, but was something rarer and more precious. Interior contentment that springs from peace and the love of God in the heart, that is the contentment of higher men, and such was the contentment of the apostles. In great battles, generals dress and live like simple soldiers, seeking contentment not in food and clothing, but in victory. Victory is the greatest content-ment for those who fight. And Christians, my brethren, are con-stantly engaged in battle - for the victory of the spirit over the material, of the higher over the lower, of man over the animal. Is it not, then, more than ridiculous to wage war and be concerned, not for victory, but for external adornment? Is it not the height of folly to wear a distinguishing mark for easy recognition by the enemy? Our invisible enemy rejoices in our vanity and encourages us in every vain thought, occupying us with every possible worthlessness and idleness, simply in order to blot out from our minds the purpose of our being here on earth. He places the worthless before us as of the utmost importance, the secondary as the primary, the ruinous as the useful, with the sole purpose of scoring a victory over us and overthrowing us for ever.

O holy, strong and immortal God, who hast created us from dust and into dust didst breathe the living soul; grant, Lord, that dust may not vanquish us. Help our spirits, that they may ever be stronger than the earth. 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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