All Saints for January 9


The Orthodox Church, in teaching men perfect love, at the same time teaches them perfect obedience, from which flow both order and harmony among the faithful. The bishops owe obedience to the Lord, the priests to the bishops and the faithful to the one and the other. St Ignatius writes about this: "It is your duty to obey without hypocrisy; he who would deceive his visible bishop would scorn also the Invisible ... I beg you, take care to fulfil all in the unity of God, under the guidance of your bishops, who occupy the place of God, and the priests, who constitute the assembly of the Apostles ... not thinking that whatever may seem to you to be right, that should you do on your own, in isolation".


Let me ponder on all the virtues in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ: 1. How every virtue is in Him full and perfect, as has been in no other in the history of the world. 2. How all of them complement each other gloriously, the one penetrating the other and the one in the other working wonderfully.


- on care for the salvation of our brethren.

"Let no man seek his own, but every man another's" (I Cor. 10:24).

That is the principle of the saints of God, both in times past and at the present time, from all ages to the end of the world. That is the principle of all true social structure. On that principle can be founded a human society that is the most perfect, the most pleasing to God and the happiest. It is a saving principle in every kind of dif-ficulty that people today encounter, against which they struggle without victory and without hope. A holy soul cares for his neighbour, either close at hand or far away. He cares where the homeless will spend the night, how the hungry will be fed, with what the naked will be clothed. He cares and he prays for the salvation of his neighbours; that their hearts may be filled with love towards God, that their minds may be directed towards God, that the wicked may turn from the paths of wickedness, that the hesitant may be confirmed in the Faith, that the firm may persevere, that the departed may behold the Face of God, that the living may be written in the Book of Life in the Kingdom of Light.

But take care, my brethren, and see how this can, word for word, be the principle of the devil, destructive and fragmenting. This says that no-one should look to his own body, to keep it in purity from sin, but rather look to the other's body to profane and destroy it; no-one should look to his own soul, to save it, but rather to the other's soul, to blacken, slander, impoverish and ruin it; no-one should look to his own home, to build and renovate it, but should look to the other's home, to burn it down and demolish it; no-one should look to his own granarics, to fill them, but rather look to the other's granaries, to rob and empty them. Do you see, my brethren, how this principle can be a principle of both good and evil, a sharp, two-edged sword, angelic or diabolical? See how this principle, in its satanic spirit and form, has today spread abroad on all sides!

O Lord, the Holy Spirit, who hast sent these holy words into the world by the mouth of God's Apostle as rays of sunshine to illumine us without burning us, help us to fulfil them in their true, heavenly sense, to the glory of the Triune God and the salvation of our souls. 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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