Everywhere and in every endeavor remember the Lord your God
and His holy love for us. Everything that you may see in heaven and on earth
and in your house awakens you to the remembrance of the Lord your God and His
holy love. We are enveloped in God's love. Every creature of God bears witness
to His love for us. When you see God's creation and make use of it, say to
yourself thus: This is the work of the hands of the Lord my God, and it was
created for my sake. These luminaries of the heavens, the sun, the moon, and
the stars, are the creations of the Lord my God, and they illumine all the
world and me. This earth on which I live, which bears fruit for me and my
cattle, and all that may be upon it, is the creation of the Lord my God. This
water which waters me and my cattle is a blessing of my Lord. This cattle which
serves me is the, creation of my Lord and was given by Him to serve me. This
house in which I live is God's blessing and was given me by Him for my repose.
This food which I taste is God's gift to me given for the strengthening and
consolation of my weak flesh. This garment with which I am clothed the Lord my
God gave me for the sake of covering my naked body. And so on.
This icon is the image of Christ; the image of my
Saviour, Who for my sake came to this unfortunate world to save me who have
perished, and He suffered and died for me, and so He redeemed me from sin, the
devil, death and hell. I worship His unspeakable love for man.
This icon is the image of the Theotokos, the image
of that Most-Holy Virgin, who gave birth in the flesh without seed to Jesus
Christ my Lord and God. Blessed among women is the Mother that bore God
incarnate, and blessed is the fruit of her womb (Lk. 1:42)! Blessed is the womb
that bore my Lord, and the paps which He has sucked (Lk. 11:27)!
This is the icon of the Forerunner; it is the
image of that great prophet who was sent from God before the face of my Saviour
Jesus Christ, and to the people he preached Him already come into the world,
and pointed Him out, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sins of the world!" (Jn. 1:29), and he was found worthy to baptize
Him in the streams of the Jordan.
This is the icon of the apostle; it is the image
of the disciple of my Saviour, who saw Him in person, who went with Him, and
saw Him work miracles, and heard Him preach, saw Him suffer for the salvation
of the world, and rise from the dead and ascend into heaven. This is the icon
of the martyr; it is the image of that struggler who withstood even to blood
for the honor of my Saviour Jesus Christ, and did not spare even his own holy
life for His name, and he established our pious faith as true by pouring forth
his own blood; and so on.
This word, the Sacred Scripture which I hear, is
the word of God, it is the word of His mouth. The mouth of my Lord spoke this,
and through it my God speaks to me, "The law of Thy mouth is better to
me than thousands of gold and silver" (LXX-Ps. 118:72 [KJV-Ps.
119:72]). O Lord, grant me ears to hear Thy holy word.
This holy house, the church in which I stand, is
the temple of God in which prayer and glorification are offered up to my God in
common from the faithful, my brethren. These voices, this glorification and
common prayer are those voices by which hymns, thanksgiving, praise and glorification
are sent up to the holy name of my God.
This consecrated man, the bishop or priest, is the
closest servant of my God, who offers prayers to Him for me a sinner and for
all the world. This man, the preacher of the word of God, is the messenger of
my God, who makes known the way of salvation to me and to the rest of the
people my brethren.
This brother of mine, every man, is the beloved
creature of my God, and like myself is a creature created after the image and
likeness of God. And having fallen he was redeemed, like myself, by the Blood
of the Son of God my Saviour, and is called to everlasting life by the Word of
God. I must love him as the beloved creature of my God, love him as I love
myself. And I must not do to him anything that I myself do not love, and I must
do to him what I desire for myself, for that is what my God commanded me. In a
word, every occasion and every thing can and must inspire you to a loving
remembrance of the Lord your God, and must show you His love toward you, since
even His chastisement comes from His love toward us. According to the
Scripture, "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth" (Heb. 12:6).
Remember, then, everywhere and on every occasion and in all things, the name of
the Lord your God. Take care not to forget your Benefactor when you enjoy His
benefactions, lest you appear ungrateful to Him; for forgetfulness of a
benefactor is a clear sign of ingratitude.
God is your creator, deliverer, supreme
benefactor, and good provider. He created you just as He gives you every good
thing, since without His goodness you could not live even for a minute. You do
not see your Benefactor with these eyes, but you see the benefits He has given
you. You see the sun, the moon and His stars which illumine you. You see the
fire that warms you and cooks your food. You see the food which satisfies you,
you see the clothing by which your naked body is covered. You see all other
countless blessings which He gave you for your needs and comfort.
Seeing, then, and receiving these benefits, remember
your unseen Benefactor everywhere and always with love, and thank Him for all
His benefits with a pure heart. The greatest and highest of all His blessings
is that by His good will Christ, His Only-Begotten Son, came to us and redeemed
us by His precious Blood and suffering from the devil, hell, and death. In this
work He showed us His unspeakable goodness to us. We must, then, always gaze
with faith upon this great work of God so incomprehensible to the mind, and
remember God Who so loved us unworthy ones. We must thank Him from our whole
heart, worship Him, praise, hymn, and glorify Him with out heart and lips. "Blessed
be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, And
hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant
David" (Lk. 1:68-69).
You, too, should always remember this great work
of God and marvel at it, and thank God from your heart, and live as it pleases
God, Who came into the world to save sinners, lest you offend Him with your
ingratitude. He desires to save you, since He came into the world for your
sake, and suffered and died in His holy flesh. You should fulfil His holy will,
then, and take care for the salvation of your soul with all diligence. Be
thankful to Him, and live in the world humbly, with love, meekly and patiently,
as He Himself lived. He also desires the same of you.
Endeavor to please God with faith and obedience,
that is, do what He desires and what is pleasing to Him, and do not do what He
does not desire and what is not pleasing to Him. Without obedience, whatever a
man may do is not pleasing to God.
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