All Saints for January 11


A man who is open to a bribe cannot be a Christian. The Orthodox Fathers of the Church were never open either to bribes or intimida-tion. Bribery in things of the Faith is equivalent to Judas's betrayal of Christ for money; such bribery is a characteristic only of certain heretics. When the Emperor Anastasius (491 - 518) fell into the Eutychian heresy, he rebelled against the decisions of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and attempted to revoke them. In order to win the chief leaders of the Church to his side, he began sending them various gifts. St Theodosius was the first in renown in Palestine, and to him the Emperor sent thirty litres of gold, ostensibly for the needs of his monastery. Theodosius realised immediately that the Emperor meant this as a bribe, and acted with very great wisdom. He would not keep the money for the monastery, although it was in great need, nor return it to the Emperor for him to work more evil with it against Orthodoxy, so he instantly distributed all the gold to the poor in the Emperor's name, that this act of charity might strengthen his prayers for the Emperor's repentance and return to the true path.


Let me ponder op the tears of the Lord Jesus, on; 1. His tears and sorrow over the dead Lazarus, as also over the fate of Jerusalem. 2. His tears and sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane over man's slavery to sin, the devil and death.


- on the gradualness of spiritual development.

"Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who 6y reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebr. 5:14).

Those who are fed on the milk of sensual judgment cannot easily differentiate between good and evil. They generally come to the con-clusion that all faiths are of equal value, that sin is the indispensable shadow of virtue and that evil is the necessary companion of good. A true Christian cannot come to these utterly mistaken conclusions. For a true Christian is a mature man, who does not feed on milk, who is distrustful of sensuality, who has a finer judgment and makes a finer distinction between the value of what is and what passes away. To the Christian, surely, clear guidance is given by the revela-tion of God to distinguish between good and evil; but he has need of long and serious study to reach perfection, to be able to know in every given situation what is good and what is evil. His knowledge must move inward to his feelings to be reliable and unmistaken. And both good and evil seek to touch the heart of man. It is there-fore essential for a man to be practised in recognising at once by the feeling of his heart what it is that approaches him, in just the same way as the tongue can immediately perceive the salt and the unsalted, the sweet and the sour.

Let us strive, my brethren, each day and each hour, to refine our hearts, that they may be able at all times to differentiate between good and evil. All that happens faces us with the question: what is good and what is evil? This is precisely why it does happen: solely in order that we may see what is good and determine on goodness. And we are put to such a test a hundred times a day. He that hath eyes to see, let him see.

O Lord, Thou Lover of mankind, warm our hearts with the good that is from Thee. Bring us to our senses, Lord, that we may learn to distinguish good from evil. Strengthen us, O Master, that we may always cleave to good and cast away evil, to Thy glory and our salva-tion. 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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