On the Sunday of All Saints, we honour the men and women who lived in unity with God, resisted the temptations of the flesh, and overcame this world. Christ brought them together in a unity of faith and love.
Every saint in this assembly is our example to follow. Each believer has a patron saint, whom they may not see but with whom they have a spiritual connection by virtue of their faith. Our patron saints help us through our life journey and guide us to our salvation. They bring our needs and requests to the Lord. With humility and wisdom, we ask them to intercede with the Lord on our behalf.
Some people have asked me why we needed the assistance of the saints. "What purpose do they serve? Cannot we talk to the Lord directly," they wondered. Of course, we should pray to our Lord and approach Him personally. We have a lot of things to ask for. We pray to the Lord to give us the strength, will and perseverance to be His good servants, and we benefit when our saints ask Him the same on our behalf. The prayers of the saints are powerful. When we say, “Saint Nicholas, pray to God for us,” we know that he will pray; when we venerate his relics, we know that he will intercede for us at the Lord’s throne.
Our saints inspire us to achieve sanctity by dedicating our lives to our Lord. We can be His servants in many ways – by keeping the house or taking care of our daily errands. Saint John the Warrior was captured and enslaved by the heterodox. Throughout his captivity, he never stopped serving God for a minute as he performed a great variety of jobs. His captors knew that. We follow his example by acting with faith, humility under all circumstances. You do not have to a part of the assembly of the saints to be pleasing to God and be saved! I am confident that there are saints among you. We may not know their names but will discover them at some point. We will remember standing next to these people, unaware of their sainthood. We might notice how they stood out among others in not having a high opinion of themselves; or by how gratefully they accepted all the things that happened to them in their lives. We would remember them bearing their cross with great patience, calm and self-control. I expect that to most people their virtues would go unnoticed, but God will see them all. A well-known book called “Everyday Saints” talks about people who are on their way to sainthood, but maybe not quite there yet.
It is God’s providence for us to become saints. Sadly, most will not realize it and follow different life plans. Some will want to be film stars, politicians, or rich and famous. But the more far-sighted will turn their eyes towards sainthood and ask for the Lord's help. Their wish will be pleasing to the Lord, and but there will be many things to do and many hurdles to overcome. We will need to adopt a different set of values and change our lives in many ways. Let us hope that none of us will be discouraged or tempted to turn back.
Let us all draw our inspiration from being members of the same church with our saints. We are a militant church where Christians on earth are struggling against sin. Our saints are the triumphant church in heaven. The militant and the triumphant churches meet during worship as the saints and angels join in our singing. The icons at church depict our saints with remarkable simplicity consistent with the Orthodox tradition. Our churches keep the relics of the saints. Our connectedness with our saints and our church is as strong as ever. Our physical existence on earth is like living on a heap of material objects destined for the waste dump. Our physical lives lead us to our grave; for dust you are and to dust you will return. But our Lord came to this world to spare us from death and give us everlasting life. So let us sing along with the saints and angels, “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.”
My warmest greetings to all of you on the Feast of All Saints.
There are two worlds of God - the visible and the invisible. The invisible world, the world of the spirit, is lost for us. Instead, we choose to live in a world of illusions.
The Divine Providence is our path to the Kingdom of Heaven. A man was created for the service of love, which is the service of the angels, but the earth has torn human beings apart from Heaven and shackled them to its surface. Human beings have…
We all need to seek medical care when we are sick. We go to a physician to heal our bodies, and to our Doctor in Heaven to heal our immortal souls. However indispensible physicians may be on earth, our lives would become a total disaster without…
Sometimes, the magnitude of human suffering, hardship, and pain can throw us into despair. But let remind ourselves that people in worse situations have come out of them successfully, and emerged stronger than before.
Recently, we commemorated the new martyrs and confessors of Russia who sacrificed themselves for our faith, our ability to come to Church to accept the Body and Blood of Christ and commune in Him.
On Friday, July 17th, we celebrate the Feast Day of our church in honor of the Holy Royal Martyrs. This feast is very important because the devil does everything to destroy and defile family. The Royal Martyrs are examples of love, built on…
Out of pride, we isolate ourselves from others and also from God. Instead, we must be willing to do God’s will, even when it is different from ours. We must be prepared to put aside our desires, however painful it might seem.
We are all treading along our life path; it is a journey that we will have to follow through to the end, every footstep of it. We should be careful not to take the wrong turn as we are progressing since every false step can cost us very dearly.