Evil Ignorance vs. Ignorance pleasing to God Ilias the Presbyter, Gnomic Anthology



37. A haughty person is not aware of his faults, or a humble person of his good qualities. An evil ignorance blinds the first, and ignorance pleasing to God blinds the second. (Ilias the Presbyter, Gnomic Anthology I, The Philokalia, the Complete Text Volume 3)


The quality of ignorance, or forgetfulness pleasing to God was evident on last Sunday’s Gospel, about the Last Judgment[1]. The humility of the righteous made them “forget” their good works. May God help us to have this kind of humility.


Note the Scripture in BOLD, below.


Matthew 25:31-46 31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.


37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.




Priest Seraphim Holland 2011.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas


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[1] The Sunday of the Last Judgment, also known as “Meatfare” because this is the last day that we eat meat until Pascha. Is the second Sunday before the beginning of Lent. Many homilies on this Sunday are here: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/index.html#Sunday_of_the_Last_Judgment_(Meatfare)


1 comment

  1. Thanks for that gem, (as one of your parishioners called them), Father Seraphim, by Ilias the Presbyter.  May God grant you many years!

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