You will be a missionary…

“You will be a missionary. Let your first rule of missionary work be – praying to God for the apostates.”
St Nicolai Velimirovich, Missionary Letters, Part 1, Letter 4

We had spoken about the 1st Matinal Resurrectional Gospel yesterday in the adult school. The so called “Great Commission” was discussed, and the difference in how Protestants and Orthodox approach, understand and fulfil the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…”

Surely St Nicolai’s admonition is part of that difference. …

O Good Physician… A prayer inspired by St Ephrem the Syrian Monasticism applied to everyone! The Modern Illness in Orthodoxy

O Good Physician,
Thou callest me, demanding no payment, nor spilling my blood,
But my slothfulness prevents me from going to Thee….

After a prayer inspired by a gleaning from St Ephrem the Syrian, the quote which inspired it, and a short commentary on the importance of monasticism and the illness of the modern church.

The purpose of the commandments. St Maximus the Confessor

The whole purpose of the Savior’s commandments is to free the mind from incontinence and hate and to bring it to the love of Himself…

After this quote from St Maximus the confessor, a short pastoral comment:

This has been one of the themes of my priestly ministry…

A pastor must strive to give his flock a reason to follow the commandments. This quote by St Maximus is the reason, or, better, one of the many ways of expressing the reason. A person who really listend to my homilies…

Gleanings:The Incarnation vis-a-vis humanity and divinity

Some incredible quotes from the Fathers and others regarding the implications of the incarnation.

St. Clement of Alexandria: “The Word of God became man, that you may learn from man how man may become God.”

St. Athanasius of Alexandria: “For he was made man that we might be made God…and…he himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming himself man.”

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (the Theologian): “Let us become as Christ is, since Christ became as we are; let us become gods for his sake, since he became man for our sake.”

and more.

Gleanings:A house well swept.

No man is more easily approached by the Devil than one who lives in slothfulness and leisure: this is a house well swept and adorned for the Evil One. – St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

I saw this recently and it is along the same lines as a sermon I recently posted (The Sign of Jonas – Baptism, resurrection, repentance and obedience.).

St Tikhon and the sermon were referring to:

Orthodoxy and Mission work – St Justin Popovich

St Justin Popovich, recently glorified by the Church of Serbia, is one of my favorite authors. He would not be among the favorites of many Orthodox, because he is blunt and truthful. He addresses here Missionary work. I have had discussions about this in the parish before, and I present his words here because they are provocative, and TRUE. So much that passes for missionary work and its sister “ecumenical dialogue” is insipid and lifeless because it is not ascetical (and therefore, cannot be truthful, because it cannot not know the truth).

Like any quote, it cannot address all aspects of a subject, but every word St Justin speaks should be taken to heart. I hope that some dialogue will result because of this post.