Compassion has always been a characteristic of a true pastor of Christ's flock. St John Chrysostom in his sermons stressed and praised nothing more strongly than compassion. St John the Merci-ful, Patriarch of Alexandria, bewailed every day in which he was not given the opportunity to show mercy to someone. St Paulinus was deservedly called the Merciful, for he was truly merciful in the full-est Christian meaning of the word. When, at one time, the Vandals were looting Nola, they also took many people into slavery. A cer-tain widow, whose only son the Vandal prince, Rig, had carried away into slavery, came to her bishop and, in tears, sought money of him to buy her son back. Having nothing, the bishop dressed him-self in the garments of a poor man and told the widow to take him before the prince and exchange him for her son. The prince returned her son to her and took Paulinus off to Africa, where he served as the prince's gardener until he was freed by the providence of God and returned to Nola with the rest of the slaves.
Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as the healer, as: 1. The healer of all physical illness. 2. The exorciser of evil spirits from the possessed. 3. The healer of the souls and minds of men by the light of divine learning. 4. My personal healer of all pains and evils.
- on the angelic state of the saints.
`but they which shall be accounted worthy to attain that world ... cannot die any more, for they are equal to the angels' (Lk. 20:30-36)
Thus speaks He who knows, He who has seen and who cannot deceive. What further doubt can we have, my brethren? This tes-timony is clearer than summer noonday, harder than diamond and more precious than all the good things of this world; and this is the testimony: that those who are worthy of that world and resurrection can die no more, but are immortal like the angels of God.
And what are the angels like? Those same angels that appeared in the time of Abraham and gave aid to men are the same that appear today and give their aid. They are not dead, but alive; they have renewed their youth. These same angels beheld Adam in Paradise and will behold the Last Resurrection, the Judgement and the Kingdom of the saints. The righteous are like to the angels. The apostles and prophets, the saints and the martyrs are alive today and will live forever; they can die no more. Hundreds and thousands of years will pass, but they will nevermore die nor grow old. They are as the angels.
The Lord has testified in the above words that the righteous will be crowned with immortality. He showed this by His own Resurrection and proved it through the uncorrupt bodies of His saints.
Oh my brethren, let us awaken and labour to be worthy to attain to that blessed light!
O risen and immortal Lord, help us to be worthy of Thine immortal Kingdom, in which Thou reignest eternally with Thine angels and saints. 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.