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Knowing the Lives of Saints, Archimandrite Zacharias

Ελισσαίος – Пророк Елисей- Пророк Илия-z_567cdcb7

Prophet Elisha, St. Methodius of Constantinople (846), Saint Julita or Julia of Tabenna, or Tabennesi of Egypt, St. Mstislav (George) the Prince of Novgorod (1180), St. Methodius the Abbot of Peshnosha (1392), Venerable Elisha of Suma, Solovki (XV-XVI), Venerable Niphon of Mt Athos (1370), Saint Justin Popovich of Chelije in Serbia (+ 1979), Synaxis of All Saints of Diveevo.

Commemorated on June 14

Saint Justin Popovich of Chelije in Serbia

«Be ye holy; for I am holy». 1 Peter 1:16 

For the saints are saints by the very fact that they constantly live the entire Lord Jesus as the soul of their soul, as the conscience of their conscience, as the mind of their mind, as the being of their being, as the life of their life. And each one of them together with the Holy Apostle loudly proclaims the truth: “Yet not I live, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2: 20).

Knowing the Lives of Saints
Fr Zacharias Zacharou (disciple of Fr. Sophrony of Essex)

Σύναξη των Αγίων Diveevo Собор Дивеевских святых p1916amup41pdb1k801e39103f1req3From the examples of Zacchaeus, Nathanael and the Samaritan woman, we see that it is possible to meet God anywhere and at any point in our life. We can glorify Him in our joys and sorrows, in life and in death, and even when we are in the deepest hell.

Father Sophrony would sometimes say to me, ‘If I had never known the lives of the Saints, I would have fallen into despair many times; but being familiar with them, I was able to bear more.’ It is important to know the lives of the Saints for they contain descriptions of the various phenomena and stages of the spiritual life. When we come to experience these for ourselves, we recall what we have read in order to be confirmed and reassured on the way of salvation. During times of testing, great consolation can be derived even from indirect knowledge of the spiritual life. This gives us the courage to say, ‘Lord, let me experience this for myself,’ which is exactly what God wants. He never forces anything on us, for He is noble and kind, and He wants us to know our freedom. (However, that is where our tragedy also lies.) He offers us His words and saving commandments, leaving it up to us to conduct our experiment with Him so that we can verify His truth, that His truth may become the law of our being.

One way of conducting our experiment is to ponder God’s ways with man. This leads to an understanding of the great honour in which God holds man. We begin to realise that man was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world and that God has cared for him tremendously since the time of his creation and throughout the tragedy of his fall. He has given us His only-begotten Son, Who came down to earth and purchased man, sold under sin, with the immense price of His precious Blood. God’s ineffable dispensation towards man is the surest indication of how sublime and wonderful is man’s calling. With the grace of God, man is great; without grace he is nothing but sinful dust. According to Elder Sophrony, when man is aware of having been in the mind of God before all worlds, and of God’s caring dispensation towards him he is inspired to deep gratitude and humility, and this disposition of the heart attracts God’s grace.

Archimandrite Zacharias’s “Remember Thy First Love“.
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