Blessed Praskovya Ivanovna (Pasha of Sarov) fool for Christ’s of Diveyevo and the disciple of St. Seraphim of Sarov
Commemorated on September 22
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
About fools, wiser than the world
“We are fools for Christ’s sake” (1 Corinthians 4:10).
Thus speaks the great Apostle Paul who in the beginning was guided by worldly wisdom, which is against Christ, until he recognizes the falsehood and decay of the wisdom of the world and the light and stability of the wisdom of Christ. Then, the holy apostle did not become angry with the world because they called him “a fool for Christ’s sake” neither did he, in defiance of the world, hesitate to be called by this name.
It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us. However, it is important, and extremely important, how the holy angels in the heavens will regard and call us when, after death, we meet with them. This is of crucial importance and everything else is nothing.
Either we are fools for the world because of Christ or we are fools for Christ because of the world. O how short-lived is the sound of a word of the world! If the world would say to us “fool,” the world will die and its word will die! What then is the value of its word? But if the heavenly, immortal ones say to us “fool,” that will neither die nor is it removed from us as eternal condemnation.
Whoever does not believe in the Living God, nor in eternal life, nor in the Incarnation of the Lord Christ, nor in Christ’s Resurrection nor in the truth of the Gospel nor in God’s eternal mercy and justice – is it any wonder if he considers that one a fool who does believes in all of this?
O, may every one of us who cross ourselves with the Sign of the Cross not only find it easy to endure but with satisfaction receive the name “fool” for Christ’s sake! Let us rejoice and be glad if the non-believers call us such, for that means that we are close to Christ and far away from the non-believers. Let us rejoice and be glad and repeat with a powerful echo in the ears of the world: yes, yes, indeed we are fools for Christ’s sake!
O Lord Most-wise, strengthen us by Your power that we not fear the non-believing world neither when they lash us with whips nor when they insult us with words for Your sake.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date February 22, and New Calendar date March 7 (6)
It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us. St. Nikolai Velimirovich
Blessed Parasceva Ivanovna “Pasha of Sarov,” of Diveyevo, pray to God for us! Pray that we labor in the fast with joy, and let God’s light illumine our hearts. Pray that our days are filled with humility, and that we learn to love others in charity, just as God loves us. Pray that we can learn to live out our Christian vocation in all times and places, and in all circumstances. Pray that we can learn to be “Fools for Christ” in our own lives…
The Troparion, In Tone I:
Having heard the voice of Thine Apostle Paul, saying: * We are foolish for Christ’s sake, * Thy servant Parasceva, O Christ God, * did love the life of the foolish for Thy sake on earth. * Wherefore in venerating her memory * we entreat Thee, O Lord, to save our souls.
For the Vespers Aposticha the Stichera.
In Tone II:
Spec. Mel.: O House of Ophrah.
A temple and abode of the Most Holy Spirit wast thou, * O most wise Parasceva; * wherefore also make us who honor thy holy memory * temples of the same Spirit.
Stichos: The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.
Thy life like the sun shines forth in the hearts of the faithful, * emitting miracles; * wherefore illumine with the never-fading light * us also who honor thine all-honorable memory.
Stichos: The righteous man shall flourish like a palm-tree; like a cedar in Lebanon shall he be multiplied.
Cease not making supplication on behalf of us thy servants, * so near unto thee, * since thou Parasceva, hast enlightened us with thy spiritual life, * that we all may joyfully honor thy honorable memory.