Let us learn to love God by loving our neighbour. Let us put our ability to love to the test - a litmus test, and pray that this test may show that love underlies our every deed, word, movement. May we have benevolence and good intentions, and think well of every man, so we can have peace in our heart, and become better people.
All of us have some knowledge of our inner selves, but it is not complete. The saints of our church have said about themselves: I am the least worthy of all. They were not being facetious. They were just being introspective.
Most of us are still not looking below the surface. But with greater perceptiveness, we might be able to see in us things we might want to eschew - the thoughts, the attitudes and the states of mind.
We often have much on our plate, we are dogged by illnesses and other troubles. But what do we have within us? Unless we are at peace with ourselves, the rest is irrelevant and meaningless. Without inner peace, our words and actions are insincere, as they are inconsistent with God's love and His will.
Are we doing God's will? This is the first thing we should ask ourselves as Christians. If the answer is yes, then we have peace, and we are in the Lord. The Lord will always be with us, He will never abandon us.
We all remember the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11 - 32), who squandered his wealth in wild living, came to his senses and returned to his father in repentance. He was prepared to become one of his father's hired servants. This was enough for his father to throw his arms around him and restore him to the dignity of being his son. Love has no boundaries, and we should all learn how to love others to the same extent. We should all step back from time to time for contemplation, so we can accept the will of God and give Him our thanks.
O Lord! Glory to You!
Priest Valery Zakharov
We haven't heard about iconoclasm for many centuries now. Icons are no longer destroyed like they were in the 8th and early 9th century. Sadly, the struggle with the image of God is apparently still going on.
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.