All Saints for January 13


Good deeds in silence are worth far more than good deeds with show, and incomparably more than the cleverest show without good deeds. From St Nicolas of Myra not one single word has been pre-served, but his deeds have. Without any show, he came by night on three occasions to the house of a poor man and threw a purse of gold through the window. An old man in the hermitage at Myra fell ill and longed to eat a little fresh bread (for the bread eaten there by the monks had been dried in the sun and kept for many months). Hearing this, one of the monks went out without a word and travelled a long way to the town, whence he brought fresh bread for the aged sufferer. The old man, learning of the labour of the monk who brought it, would not eat the bread, saying: `This is the blood of my brother' (i.e. my brother has brought it to me with great difficulty). Then the other monks begged the old man to eat it, saying to him that he must not reject the sacrifice of his brother. What ostentation and what words concerning brotherly love could replace this simple and silent act of brotherly love?


Let me ponder on the hunger and thirst of the Lord Jesus for right-eousness: 1. How He comes into the world to bring the lawless back to righteousness. 2. How He proclaims the righteousness of God and denounces unrighteousness. 3. How He hastens to perform countless works of righteous-ness, to leave us an example.


-on the interior quality of the Kingdom of God.

"The Kingdom of God is within you" (Lk. 17:21).

All that is God's bears the seal of immortality. And the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of immortality. If, then, we desire to breathe the air of immortality, we must enter into ourselves, go deep into our hearts, to the Kingdom of God. Outside is ephemeral air, the air of transitoriness and corruption, which the soul finds it hard to breathe. This is the natural kingdom of the senses, hence the king-dom of that which is alienated from our souls - they themselves being of our interior kingdom. Why do people desire to make a long stay in a strange land? Why do they so rarely and reluctantly enter their own homes? Whenever we think about the world, we think about this strange land. Whenever we think of the world of senses, we do likewise. Living by the senses, we are like a man who spends the day rushing from one strange house to another, only returning to his own home at night to sleep. And so we devote our waking hours to death and our sleep to immortality! We come to ourselves, return to ourselves, only in sleep. But in sleep we dream of our wak-ing hours. This means that, even when we are at home, in the uncon-sciousness of sleep, we dream of the strange house. Our dreams are sensual because our waking hours are sensual. And thus we are in a strange land, strange to us both in sleep and in waking. We are con-stantly outside ourselves. But the Lord desires to return us to ourselves, to our own home and our own native land. For us the King-dom of God is within; outside is a strange land. In order to flee from this strange land and find our home, in which we come to direct encounter with God, we must enter into ourselves, into our hearts. There is the King, and there is the Kingdom.

O Lord and King of angels and saints, show us the richness and splendour of Thy Kingdom within us. May we come to love Thy Kingdom more than we desire the strange land of the sensual, the kingdom that is transitory and subject to change. 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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