Sunday, 2 September 2012

St. John of Kronstadt - On the Church


Our negligence, carelessness, and laziness concerning our salvation is amazing; for how many means, faculties, and conveniences are granted to us for it by the all-compassionate and greatly merciful Lord! First: our natural thirst for salvation, peace, and blessedness in the soul; the light of the understanding and the yearning of our will for all that is true, good, beautiful, pure, exalted; the abundance of grace given to us for salvation, which flows like rivers within the Church and fills the souls thirsting for salvation; the nearness and readiness of the Lord to save us at every time and every moment - "the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26); the assistance and co-operation of our guardian angels for our salvation; the daily Divine Service in the Church; and the saving Mysteries, prayers, and intercession of the Mother of God and all the Saints. 

It is amazing how in the face of all this we can still perish, and not all be saved. Certainly there are many things that impede our salvation: temptations from our too-passionate flesh, from the adulterous and sinful world, from the devil who has everywhere laid snares for our destruction; the corruption of our nature, our sinful conception and birth in sin; and the inclinations and habits of sin. However, far greater are the means for salvation than the means to perdition. "For greater is He that is in you (Christ), than he that is in the world (the devil)" (I John 4:4), and all the Saints overcame all obstacles and were saved. But what do we do? We drowse and sleep! Shameful, sinful, painful, woeful! Sin gains power over us in that it has buried itself deeply in us and has taken its seat in us, in our hearts, in our passionate flesh, and has made itself a fortress out of our own passions, out of our self-love, concupiscence, love of honor, pride, love of possessions, incontinence, self-conceit, little faith, unbelief, free-thinking, hypocrisy, partiality, and laziness; and by these passions, as with mighty weapons, it shoots us down and takes us into captivity, cutting us off, alienating us from Christ, our true Life. 

Wherefore he who desires salvation must dig, delve into his heart, and lay his foundation upon the rock, that is, upon Christ the Saviour, upon strong, unshakable faith in Him, upon hope on Him, and upon no one and nothing else-upon strong love for Him and his neighbor.

St. John of Kronstadt

Νά μᾶς χρωστάει ὁ Θεός!


Κάνε ὀφειλέτη σου τό Θεό καί τότε νά ζητήσεις.

Δάνεισε πρῶτα ἐσύ καί ἔπειτα νά ζητήσεις ἀπό τό Θεό,
γιά νά πάρεις μέ τόκο.
Δέν εἰσακούεται κανένας, ὅταν ἁπλῶς σηκώσει τά
χέρια του. Ἐσύ ἅπλωσε τά χέρια σου ὄχι στόν οὐρανό,
ἀλλά στά χέρια τῶν φτωχῶν.
Ἡ προσευχή χωρίς ἐλεημοσύνη εἶναι ἄκαρπη. 

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