All Saints for January 7


`The whole man is not outwardly visible', says St Basil the Great. As one house is like another, so it is with the external appearance of a man. But a house receives honour from him who inhabits it, as likewise does a man from the spirit within him. It is easily apparent to bodily sight that the house is not the householder, but only the place where the householder lives; but it is only clear to spiritual sight that the body is not the man but only the dwelling he inhabits.


Let me ponder on the Lord's going out to the mount of temptation: 1. How, after His Baptism, He went off immediately to fast and pray. 2. How, in the man who has received Baptism, the devil works his wiles most insistently in times of fasting and prayer. 3. How, meek as a lamb but resolute as a master, the Lord repulsed all the temptations of the devil.


--on submission to the will of God. "Thy will 6e done, in earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). Blessed is John the Baptist, for he fulfilled the Gospel before the Gospel! Going out into the wilderness, he delivered himself over wholly to the will of God, in both body and spirit. And the will of God was done in his body on earth as also it was done in his spirit in heaven. Neither hunger nor wild beasts harmed his body during his years in the wilderness, nor did despair harm his spirit in solitude nor pride in heavenly visions. He sought neither bread nor recogni-tion from men. God gave him all that was needful, for he was com-pletely given over to the will of God. He did not direct his own steps either into the wilderness or out of it. His life was steered by an invisible rudder, for when the time came for him to leave the wilder-ness and go to meet the Lord, it is written: "The word of the Lord came unto John" (Lk. 3:2). John spoke with the simplicity of an innocent child of his intercourse with heavenly powers: "And I knew Him not; butHe thatsent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me: `Upon whom thou shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He who baptiseth with the Holy Spirit.' And I saw, and bear record that this is the Son of God" (Jn. 1:33-34), So tenderly and simply does he speak of heavenly things! And yet how terrifying he is, how like a lion, when he speaks against unrighteous men, against Herod and Herodias! The lamb and the lion live together within him. Heaven is as near to him as a mother is to her child, and the will of God is as near and clear to him as to the angels in heaven.

O most wise Lord, guide the lives of us sinners in the wilder-ness of this world to the doing of Thy will, as Thou didst guide the life of St John the Baptist. 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.


[More Saints on January 7 | More Saints in January]


Return to Serbian Orthodox Church - Home


Copyright © 1999-2000 All Rights Reserved.