If the dogma of faith seems at times to you to be tough food, you must first try to fulfil Christian moral dogma, and then the under-standing of the dogma of faith will be revealed to you. The inquisi-tive examination of high things, without the effort to rectify one's life, is of no use whatever. At one time, a group of Egyptian monks was considering Melchisedek, and being unable to come to any clar-ity about the mysterious personality of this ancient king and high priest, they invited Abba Copres to their place of assembly and questioned him concerning Melchisedek. Hearing this, Copres smote himself on the mouth three times and said:`Woe to you, Copres! You have set aside that which God ordained for you to do, and you investigate that which God does not require of you.' The monks were filled with shame, and dispersed. Chrysostom writes: `If we hold true dogma and give no thought to our conduct, we shall find this of no use; and also if we give thought to our conduct and neglect true dogma, we shall receive nothing useful to our salvation. If we wish to be delivered from Gehenna and obtain the Kingdom, we must be adorned from both sides: with both true faith and uprightness of life.'
Let me ponder on the compassion of the Lord Jesus: 1. Towards sinners and the sick. 2. Towards the people, who were confused as sheep without a shepherd. 3. Towards mankind as a whole, for whom He gave Himself to be crucified.
-on the vision of the unseen world.
`We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen' (2 Cor. 4:18)
We see this material and transitory world, but we look to that spiritual and immortal world. We see earthly joy, often cut short by tears and sighing, finally and inevitably ending in death, but we look to spiritual joy among the angels and saints of God in heaven, to unbroken and eternal joy.
We see the sufferings and failures of the righteous in this life, but we look to their glory and triumph in the other world.
We see much success, glory and honour for the unrighteous in this life, but we look to their defeat, condemnation and unspeakable torment in eternity.
We see the Church of God often humiliated and persecuted in this world, but we look to her victory over all her enemies and adversaries, visible and invisible.
We see, my brethren, tyrants and abductors, often as the rul-ers and the rich in this age, and the saints as nobodies, distressed and forgotten, but we look to another kingdom, in which the saints will reign, with not one tyrant or abductor; the Kingdom of God, eter-nally sinless and immortal.
O long-suffering and most merciful Lord, open our spiritual eyes that we may see that which awaits us after this brief life, that we may strive to fulfil Thy commandments. 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.