All Saints for January 25


They deceive themselves who self-confidently assert that they know men well and that no-one can deceive them. Who but the one God, who knows the secrets of the heart, can guess what kind of spiritual being any man is? Even the great saints were mistaken in people. For example: St Basil for a long time considered a hypocritical heretic to be a holy man, and defended him against his many attackers until he was in the end, in bitter disappointment, convinced of the other's deceit. St Gregory the Theologian baptised a philosopher called Maximus and loved him so greatly that he shared his house and table with him. But this Maximus was as wicked and cunning as a snake, and after a while he managed by intrigues and bribes to be accepted by the citizens of Constantinople as Patriarch in place of St Gregory. When, after many intrigues, this trial was removed, Gregory was upbraided for having kept his greatest enemy at his side. `We are not to blame', replied the saint, `if we cannot see through a man's wickedness. God alone knows man's inner secrets. And we are told by the commandments to open our hearts with fatherly love to anyone who approaches us. 'The good, kindly man cannot easily comprehend the wickedness of the wicked man.


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as King: 1. As the master of nature, which He tames and puts to His service. 2. As master of the demons, sickness and death. 3. As master of the eternal kingdom of the angels and saints.


- on the Person of Christ

`Who do men say that I am?' (Mk. 8:27).

It is, my brethren, almost two thousand years since the day when the Lord Jesus put this question to His disciples. From then until now this question has been asked incessantly of each generation, and each generation of men has had to give some sort of answer to it. This question is the question of life and death, and the answer to it brings life or death. 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God', replied the Apostle Peter. And that answer was accepted and praised by the Lord Jesus.

Who do the men of our day say that Christ is? Some would say, with the Jews, that He is a law-breaker and self-styled Messiah. Others would say, with Pilate, that they simply cannot come to the truth about this man. Yet others would say, with the apostles, that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind from sin and death, He who has risen and gives resurrection, He who lives and gives life. And all of us, bap-tised in the name of the Holy Trinity, are in agreement with the apostles and the holy, apostolic Church, which through the voice of its Councils so confesses Christ the Lord.

O Lord, the only-begotten Son of God, help us, that we may all the days of our life believe with our hearts and confess with our lips that Thou art our God and Saviour, the power and wisdom of God. 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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