About the power of the Lord’s word
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
“Is not My word like the fire, says the Lord, like a hammer shattering rocks “ (Jeremiah 23:29).
Yes Lord, Your word is indeed like fire; like fire which warms the righteous and burns the unrighteous. And, indeed, Your word is like a hammer; a hammer which softens the stony hardness of the heart of a penitent and pulverizes the hearts of the unrepentant sinners into dust.
“Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us” (St. Luke 24:32), the apostles asked after talking with the resurrected Lord? When the heart in man is correct, it burns from the word of the Lord and it melts from pleasure and expands with love. But, when the heart in man is not correct and hardened by sin, then the heart bakes from the word of the Lord and becomes even harder. “And pharaoh’s heart was hardened” (Exodus 8:19).
In vain do sinners fortify themselves in the fortresses of stone, in their fortresses of iron, in their fortresses of silver and gold and reject the armor of God’s justice. As a powerful and irresistible hammer, such is the word of the Lord when He pronounces judgment upon these fortresses of stone in which sinners fortify themselves.
In vain does the unbeliever fortify his house with impregnable stones and the statesman fortifies the State, hardened with the wisdom of the world, and not hoping in the Living God. The word of the Lord comes down like a hammer upon all that was built apart from God or against God; as a powerful and irresistible hammer.
O brethren, let us not trust in our creations of stone, neither of marble nor of gold or of silver stones nor of the godless stones of our individual thoughts. All of these are weaker before the power of God than dust before the power of the wind.
O Lord Almighty, help us to receive Your word and, that on Your word, we may build our entire life both in this world and in the next world.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
(*) The Egyptians almost deified St. Jeremiah. That is why they buried him as a king. Even after his death, they considered him a miracle-worker. They removed dust from his tomb as a cure against snake bites. Even today, many Christians invoke Jeremiah against serpents.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for
Book of Exodus
https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=2&page=8Saint Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite
Love, worship of and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth.
We must become filled, replete with the Holy Spirit. This is where the essence of spiritual life lies. This is an art––the art of arts. Let us open our arms and throw ourselves into Christ’s embrace.
Pray to God with love and yearning. And when you repeat the prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” Say it slowly, humbly, gently and with divine love. Pronounce the name of Christ with sweetness. Say the words one at a time: “Lord…Jesus…Christ…have mercy on me,” smoothly, tenderly, affectionally, silently, secretly, mystically, but with exaltation, with longing, with passion, without tension, force of unbecoming emphasis, without compulsion and pressure. In the way a mother speaks to the child she lovesL “my little boy…me darling girl…my little Johnny…my sweet Mary!”
We shouldn’t continue relentlessly in order to acquire what we want; rather we should leave all things to the will of God. What happens when we peruse what we want? These always increase and we are never satisfied with what we have. The more we chase after these wants the more elusive they become. If we pray for good grades next we will ask for a good job. Then it will be for a better job and so forth.
What should we ask for in our prayer?
In our prayer we should ask only for the salvation of our soul…. The secret is to ask for your union with Christ with utter selflessness, without saying “give me this” or “give me that.”… We should ask for the will of God to be done.
The enemy is our egoism.
Only a person who has humility receives these gifts from God; he attributes them to God and he uses them for His glory. The good, humble, devout man who loves God, deluded or led astray. He feels in his heart that he is truly unworthy, and that all those things are given to him so that he may become good, and for that reason he makes his ascetic struggle.
Our aim must be to become holy and God may then grant us additional powers. Grace does not come to those who are ego-centered. It comes only to those who are humble, selfless, and love God above all else.
To benefit others you must live in the love of God, otherwise you are unable to do good to your fellowman. You mustn’t pressurize the other person. His time will come, as long as you pray for him. With silence, tolerance and above all by prayer we benefit others in a mystical way.
Seeking Christ is the highest of goals in our Orthodox faith. There is nothing higher. ,“He is the summit of desire.” The more you give yourself to the love of Christ, the more you want to give yourself. We must love Him with all our soul, heart, strength, power and mind. We must plug our heart into His love and be united with Him. As we pursue the Way of Love we come to a point where we are united with Christ. It is at this point that satiety ceases. This is called theosis. We find ourselves in union with God and bathed in His light. We know then that nothing will ever again separate us.
Troparion. Tone 5.
Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life.
Megalynarion: The Angel cried to her that is full of grace: Pure Virgin, rejoice! And again I say: Rejoice! For your Son has risen from the tomb on the third day.
O divine! O beloved! O sweetest voice! You have truly promised that you will be with us unto the end of time, O Christ. And we the faithful rejoice, having this as an anchor of hope.
Megalynarion: Rejoice, O Virgin, rejoice! Rejoice, Blessed One! Rejoice, Glorified One. your Son has risen from his three days in the tomb.
O great and most sacred Pascha, Christ! O Wisdom and Word and Power of God! Grant that we may partake of you fully in the day that has no evening of your Kingdom.
Kontakion St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone.
The most-holy temple of the Comforter,
And the beloved of the All-Pure Theotokos,
Let us praise Porphyrios from our heart,
For he loves and heals all, and protects,
And intercedes, that we be granted theosis.
Therefore, we cry out:
Hail, O Father Porphyrios.