When the Pharisees met Christ, one of them asked, "Who is He?" "Son of Joseph," replied another. We like to believe that we know it all. We like to be confident and unshaken in our decisions and to be convincing to ourselves and others. But most of us are still too far from living in the spirit, even though we do accept into ourselves our Lord, the Creator of the world, both physical and spiritual.
As we know from the Scripture, "knowledge puffs up while love builds up". We should not see the Scripture simply as a chronology of historical events connected to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but rather as a message for the here and now. Surely, the worries of this life are keeping us from understanding the deep meaning of God's mysteries. It is as if we are sailing in an ocean. Our time is short, and the ocean is large and deep. Its boundless expanse challenges our imagination. Brave explorers, people like the Frenchman Jean-Yves Cousteau are diving deep into its depths to find out the mysteries that it is hiding. This takes him a lot of time, effort, and money. He is working very hard. Unlike him, we do not have to travel far or to go to such great lengths to find the ultimate treasure - the wisdom of our Lord. We just need to concentrate and be prepared to accept the word of God, and His wisdom will be revealed.
The Scripture tells us that we may be building our house on sand, and if so, it will be blown away by the wind or washed away by the waters. In the old times, houses used to be built on large rocks, one under every corner, and they stood for many years. Our relationship with God should rest on the solid rock of faith, not just on our knowledge of Him, however odd this might sound today. One may read a lot of good books filled with great wisdom, but there are still examples of people who renounce Christ after many years of teaching His word to others. Knowledge is not the way, but only a tool. We need to embrace God unquestioningly, put all our trust in Him, open up our hearts, and accept Him as a real person, as our partner in conversation, as Someone who loves and will never abandon or forget about us, and will always be by our side. We should seek to embrace God in our lives by accepting him artlessly and wholeheartedly like infants.
How can we do it? How can we be infants at heart, but not in our thinking? How can we learn to trust God in our relationship with Him? How can we open up our hearts to Him? Finding the answers is difficult, but it is the only way to let God live in us. Knowledge helps, but it will not suffice for a relationship with the Lord. It takes the right attitude of the heart and the mind, which are visible to the Lord alone. So let us thank the Lord again for letting us partake in His sacraments.
O, Lord! Glory to You! O, Lord! Glory to You! O, Lord! Glory to You!
Priest Valery Zakharov
This is not the definition of humility that we’re used to. How do we tally it with the understanding of humility as “feeling inferior to others”, which is typical of so many spiritual books?
What is our cross? It is our life and all the sorrows, pains and trials that come with it that we must accept as the inevitable price of our sin, our separation from God and our wilfulness.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross takes a special place among the Christian feasts. It is our chance to reflect on eternity, the victory of life over death, and the triumph of God's love.
Life in the spirit and the soul begins with one's acceptance of one's neighbour and achieving inner peace. Spiritual life is about simplicity. The first thing that our Saviour and John the Baptist preached to the people was repentance.
We can only see God in another human. When we continue to look for Him tirelessly and plead fervently for His mercy, He will reveal Himself to us. God restores man to His magnificent image with the power of His love in Church.
Let us all be conscious and worthy of the honour to be called Orthodox Christians... and seek peace within ourselves, so thousands will be saved around us.
To be honest, I’m nobody. I know that but I also know that there is the devil who sneers at me gleefully, “Aha! You’re done!” I say, “No, I’ve only just begun. I want to change. I want to be different. I want to serve God.”
The enemy is working hard to divert us from our narrow path of salvation; he wants us to lose sight of our homeland in heaven and follow fake leaders in pursuit of a false cause. We plead for the Lord’s help all the time. We need Him every step…