The examples of the meek enduring of violence that we find in the holy Fathers are given to us to marvel at. Returning once on the path to his cell, Macarius the Great saw a robber carrying his things out of it and loading them onto a donkey. Macarius said nothing to him, and even helped him to get everything loaded, saying to him-self: `We brought nothing into this world' (I Tim. 6:7). Another elder, when robbers had taken everything from his cell, looked around and saw that they had left a bundle of money, which had been lying hidden somewhere, so he quickly took up this bundle, called to the robbers and gave it to them. Again a third elder, find-ing thieves in the act of plundering his cell, called to them: `Hurry, hurry, don't let the brothers find you, or they'll stop me fulfilling Christ's command: "Of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again" (Lk; 6:30).'
Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as the salt of the earth: 1. As the salt that gives savour to this life. 2. As the salt that keeps mankind from decay, which would otherwise be rotten right through its history. 3. As the salt of my own life.
- on victory over the world.
`In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; 1 have overcome the world' (Jn. 16:33).
The one and only Conqueror of the world teaches His followers with these words not to fear the world. It indeed seems very strong, but how can He who created the world not be stronger than it?
It is a very terrible world for those who do not know that God rules it and that He has power to keep it in being as long as He wishes, and to return it to non-being when He wishes. But to him who knows this, the world is not terrible. Compared with the Lord Christ, the world is of the stuff of weakness itself, while in Christ there is no weakness whatever. He who does not know this, to him the world is terrible, but for him that does, the world holds no terrors.
The world is over-full of tribulations, tortures, graves and the smell of putrefaction. Who is able to endure it all? Only he who has a strong heart, who has Christ dwelling within it.
The world has lent us a body, but understand that it wants our soul also. But how can the world overcome us if we stand as soldiers, conquerors of the world? The Conqueror of the world gives us weapons for the fight; He teaches us by His own example to fight, shows us the hidden enemy, points out the paths of attack and retreat, holds us by His hand, pro-tects us under His wing, feeds us with His life-giving Body and assuages our thirst with His life-giving Blood, and, more, encour-ages us with the call: `Fear not!' What, then, brethren, can the world do to us when its defeat is sealed by the victory of Christ?
O Lord, Thou Conqueror of the world and our victorious Commander, be Thou ever near us, that we may never fear. Lead us, Lord, that with heart, mind and soul we may ever be close to Thee. 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.