St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: Let us remember our ancestors, the Holy Christian Martyrs of the early Church . . .

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“Let us remember our ancestors, the Holy Christian Martyrs of the early Church, as well as our Serbian New Martyrs, who refused, despite painful penalties and horrendous persecution, to worship, venerate or pay obeisance in any way to idols who are angels of Satan. The foundation of our Holy Church is built upon their very blood. In today’s world of spiritual apathy and listlessness, which are the roots of atheism and turning away from God, one is urged to disregard the spiritual roots and origins of secular practices when their outward forms seem ordinary, entertaining and harmless. The dogma of atheism underlies many of these practices, denying the existence of both God and Satan.

Our Holy Church, through Jesus Christ, teaches that God alone stands in judgment over everything we do and believe and that our actions are either for God or against God. No one can serve two master.”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: You write how things are difficult for the world . . .

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“You write how things are difficult for the world, and yet the world knows not why. If the world does not know, the Church of God does. Things are difficult in the world because people are not brethren. Kinship between individuals and nations as been forgotten and people act towards their neighbors as towards strangers in a foreign land… Christ said, All ye are brethren (Matt. 23:8)…because you have one Father who is in Heaven, and you will remain brethren as long as you confess your one Father…”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us . . .

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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.

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Homily for February 22, Prologue of Ohrid

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: On needs to distingish a sinner from a penitent . . .

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“One needs to distinguish a sinner from a penitent. If you have taken upon yourself the role to rebuke the sinner, guard yourself well, that you do not rebuke the penitent also. How dear the
repentant sinner is to God, call to mind the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Therefore, let it be very dear for you, he who has become dear to God. At one time it happened that a monk succumbed to sin for which he was banished from the monastery. This monk went to St. Anthony, confessed his sin, repented and remained with Anthony for a period of time. Then Anthony sent him back again to the monastery but they did not receive him and, again, they banished him. Again, the penitent came to Anthony. Again, Anthony sent him back to the monastery with a message to the fathers of the monastery: ‘One boat experienced shipwreck and lost its cargo; with great difficulty did that boat arrive in the harbor and you wish to drown even that which was saved from drowning!’ Hearing this wise message, the fathers received with joy the penitent brother into the monastery.”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: If your heart has been softened . . .

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“If your heart has been softened either by repentance before God or by learning the boundless love of God towards you, do not be proud with those whose hearts are still hard. Remember how long your heart was hard and incorrigible. Seven brothers were ill in one hospital. One recovered from his illness and got up and rushed to serve his other brothers with brotherly love, to speed their recovery. Be like this brother. Consider all men to be your brothers, and sick brothers at that. And if you come to feel that God has given you better health than others, know that it is given through mercy, so in health you may serve your frailer brothers.”

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, March 31, Prologue of Ohrid

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: Either we are fools for the world . . .

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“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.”

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: God and the devil are found . . .

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“God and the devil are found at opposite poles. No one can turn his face to God who has not first turned his back on sin. When a man turns his face to God, all of his paths lead to God. When a man turns his face away from God, all of his paths lead to perdition. When a man finally rejects God by word and in his heart, he is no longer fit to do anything that does not serve for his complete destruction, both of his soul and of his body.”

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Thoughts on Good and Evil

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: Just as people do not enter a war . . .

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“Just as people do not enter a war in order to enjoy war, but in order to be saved from war, so we do not enter this world in order to enjoy this world, but in order to be saved from it. People go to was for the sake of something greater than war. So we also enter this temporal life for the sake of something greater: for eternal life. And as soldiers think with joy about returning home, so also Christians constantly remember the end of their lives and their return to their heavenly fatherland.”

–St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Thoughts on Good and Evil

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