St Nicholas of Serbia writes, “What would human society be without forgiveness? A menagerie among the menagerie of nature. What, besides unbearable chains, would all human laws on earth be if they were not mitigated by forgiveness? Without forgiveness, could a mother be called a mother, a brother a brother, a Christian a Christian? No, forgiveness is the cornerstone of all these names. Without the words of asking for- and granting forgiveness, human life would be completely unbearable. There is no wisdom on earth that could restore order and establish peace between people without the help of forgiveness.
No school or upbringing can make people generous and virtuous without forgiveness. What is the use of all worldly wisdom if it does not teach us to forgive our neighbour for an insulting word or look? None. What is the use of a hundred ounces of anointing oil if each drop does not testify to at least one forgiven offence? None whatsoever.”
If we only knew how much the Lord and our neighbours silently forgive us every day and every hour, we would hasten to forgive others with shame. How many of our careless and offensive words, evil looks and inappropriate deeds are answered with silence!
People endure this without taking "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (Matthew 5:38). This is ever more true in relation to the forgiveness of God. Lord Jesus Christ speaks about the immensity of God's forgiveness in His answer to Peter's question whether to forgive his brother's sins "as many as seven times".
The Lord answered this with the famous words, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven" (Matt. 18:22).
Compare these two statements and you will see the difference between man and God. Peter used the expression “as many as seven times" to signify the pinnacle of mercy. Lord Jesus Christ answers, "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:22)”.
Palm Sunday is both gruelling and tragic. It precedes the Holy week, the most dramatic in the church year. Every day of the Holy Week is a step in our spiritual ascent to our resurrection.
Alexander Sakovich works at the department of Saint Elisabeth Convent responsible for the construction and building maintenance and does obedience at the nursing home for adults with disabilities. We met with Alexander to talk about his path.
In his famous book, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Saint John Climacus challenges us to step out of our comfort zone and depart on a spiritual journey.
Many years have passed since Belarus was freed from fascism. But we hold close the memory of those who did not live to see the Victory. In our fast-paced world everything changes, but the truth. It is therefore important that the memory remains.
On 28 November, we enter the Nativity Fast in which we prepare ourselves for the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord by focusing on abstinence, prayer and almsgiving. The fast lasts until 7 January.
All too often, people distort the wonderful image of God in themselves by separating themselves from Him. They leave no room in their lives for sacredness or the sense of His presence.
The man born blind was God's chosen. He suffered in endless darkness and blindness to make visible to the world and the universe the wondrous works of our Lord.