Friday, December 22, 2006

Reflections of a Humble Heart (continued)

The elder, addressing his monastics:

...I greet you and say to you, "Rejoice!" Rejoice, because you are a Christian and you bear the name of Christ. Rejoice, because, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, God has numbered you with His sons, and you daily turn to Him with the words, "Our Father." Rejoice, because the Son of God and your Saviour calls you His brother (John 20:17; Heb. 2:11-12). Rejoice because you are redeemed (Gal 3:13, 1 Tim. 2:6). Rejoice, because from the foundation of the world the Kingdom has been prepared for you (Matt. 24:34), if only you apply yourself in the course of this life to inherit it in eternity. Rejoice, because you are always numbered among those who are saved (Eph. 2:5), and your name is already written in the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5), and of you is required only that you confirm this and that you hold to this great height. Rejoice, because God has called you to please Him in this monastic life. He has clothed you with the robe of salvation (by which you are to understand your baptismal robe) and He has covered you with the garment of joy (Is. 61:10), which is how you should revere your monastic habit. Likewise, rejoice and know that the Mother of God herself and the host of saints protect and watch over you, if only you do no fall into despondency and do not become careless or indifferent towards your calling. If you should stumble, they will help you up, if only you are determined to continue your path and to avoid the mire from which there is no salvation. If we have many enemies along our path to salvation, we also have many friends and helpers....Know that time does not wait for you. Love the time of your life, for this is the time that the Lord has entrusted to you in order that you labor on the salvation of your soul, and there will not be another time....Rejoice, that you are alive and are given the opportunity to manifest love for God, to please God, to labor, to show yourself His faithful servant--and not merely a servant but a son, according to the Gospel (John 1:12). And if you are called to such an honor, to such a joy, well then, endure all trials and misfortunes steadfastly and courageously. In no case hang your head in sorrow, because you have no grounds for doing so.

Reflections of Humble Heart, pages 24-26

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