Saturday, July 4, 2015

Lay not up Treasures on Earth, but in Heaven where Nothing is Lost ( St. John Maximovich )

The Lord speaks to all people of all times and races, and tells them something clear and well-known. Today a person is alive, but tomorrow he dies and everything that he has is lost to him. But the soul, which moves the body, continues to live and it is either comforted and happy, or sad and burdened. Man is created thus; the body must live as the soul desires. At the moment of death the soul continues to live without the body. Everything will perish except that which the soul has gathered through love and prayer. Everything virtuous done by a man is written in the soul and will not be taken from him. While a person is alive, he finds himself paying attention to many things: clothing, health, his job, studies. There are times when he is concerned only with the thought of war or a failed harvest - of everything that is necessary for life on earth.

So, too, in spiritual life there are times of special attention to what is needful for the soul. Such is Great Lent - a time of special attention, examination, of the freeing of spiritual forces. Fasting is established by the Holy Spirit. Righteous men, striving towards God, through life experience came to know the meaning of fasting and bear witness that without fasting there can be no spiritual life. All the various attacks of the devil, all his temptations, everything concerning the diabolic world, is cast aside -becomes powerless and is shamed-when a person firmly follows the words of the Saviour Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ: " .. . This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt. 17:21).

Now is a time of fasting, a suitable time for cleansing the soul. This is the most important thing, for a soul to be able to accept the grace of God, so that those treasures will be stored up in the soul, which will not be taken from it. And then the path of its life will be straight; in the soul there will be peace and joy.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

St. John Maximovich


Ο ιερέας σας μπορεί να είναι μόλις 25 χρονών.

Μα η ιεροσύνη του είναι από καταβολής κόσμου. Όταν, λοιπόν, του ασπάζεστε το χέρι, προσκυνάτε την ιεροσύνη του, που φθάνει διαδοχικά από τον Χριστόν και τους Αποστόλους μέχρι τον ιερέα σας.

Όταν φιλάτε το χέρι του παπά σας, φιλάτε ολόκληρη την αλυσίδα των οσίων και αγίων ιερέων και ιεραρχών, από τους Αποστόλους μέχρι σήμερα.

Ασπάζεστε και προσκυνάτε τον Άγιο Ιγνάτιο τον Θεοφόρο, τον άγιον Νικόλαο, τον άγιον Βασίλειο, τον άγιον Σάββα και όλους τους « επίγειους αγγέλους και ουρανίους ανθρώπους», που, όταν ήταν στη γη, κοσμούσαν την Εκκλησία και τώρα στολίζουν τον ουρανό. Είναι φίλημα άγιον, όπως γράφει στους Κορινθίους ο Απόστολος Παύλος. Να ασπάζεστε, λοιπόν το χέρι του ιερέα που σας ευλογεί. Είναι ευλογημένο από τον Θεό. Με την χάρη της ιεροσύνης. Με την χάρη του Αγίου Πνεύματος. Να το φιλάτε το χέρι του ιερέα σας. Όσο νέος και αν είναι. Και να τον ακούτε.

Επισκόπου Αχρίδας Νικολάου