Knowing Where the Evil Is

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“…We often think that evil is somewhere out there, but if it were not for the evil that already exists in us, the evil ‘out there’ would not be able to touch us. The evil is in us. However, this evil itself is not to blame. We are to blame for having let it into our hearts and for having disturbed our peace. Let us say someone is threatening us, or trying to talk us into doing something bad. Let him do so; this person has a will of his own. Let him do his job, and we will do ours, which is to preserve our inner peace.”

— Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

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Ours Is Not An Easy Road

Christ the Pantocrator

The Lord said, “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more. I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.” (Luke 12:48-59)

Cave Of A Tiger

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Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

“…the Gospel must reach not only the intellect but the whole being. English people often say, ‘That’s interesting, let’s talk about it, let’s explore it as an idea,’ but actually do nothing about it. To meet God means to enter into the ‘cave of a tiger’ –it is not a pussy cat you meet–it’s a tiger. The realm of God is dangerous. You must enter into it and not just seek information about it.”
— “Beginning to Pray”, Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh

Hannah’s Prayer

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St. Hanna and the Prophet Samuel

And she said:

“My heart is strengthened in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in my God.
I smile at my enemies;
I rejoice in Your salvation.
Because no one is holy like the Lord,
No one is righteous like our God.
No one is holy but You.
Do not boast nor speak of high things;
Let not arrogance come from your mouth;
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And God is preparing His actions,
He weakened the bow of mighty men,
And those who are weak are girded with strength.
Those who were full of bread were made empty,
And the hungry have forsaken the land.
The barren woman has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.
The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Hades and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the earth
And lifts the needy from the dung heap;
To set them among princely people
And make them inherit a throne of glory.
The One who gives a prayer to the one praying,
He blesses with righteous years;
For by strength no man can prevail.
The Lord makes His adversaries weak;
The Lord is holy.
Let not the man of learning boast in his understanding,
Nor let the man of might boast in his might,
Nor let the man of riches boast in his riches.
Only let the one who boasts boast in this:
To understand and to know the Lord
And to do justice and righteousness in the midst of the earth.
The Lord went up to heaven and thundered.
The Lord judges the ends of the earth.
He gives strength to our leaders,
And He will exalt the horn of His Christ.”

(1 Kingdoms 2:1-10 Septuagint/1 Samuel 2:1-10 Protestant Bible)

A Citizen of the Desert, An Angel In the Flesh, and a Wonderworker

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St. Moses the Black

“On 24 Baounah (Paoni – Coptic month), St. Moses the Black, whose life story is remarkable, was martyred. This saint took the Kingdom of Heaven by force, exactly as our Lord Jesus Christ said: “The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12). In his early life, St. Moses was a slave to people who worshiped the sun. He was a mighty man who loved to eat and drink excessively. He killed, robbed and committed all evil. No one could stand up before him, or challenge him. On many occasions, he lifted up his eyes to look to the sun and to talk to it saying, “O Sun!! if you are God, let me know it.” Then he said, “And you O God whom I do not know, let me know you.” One day…” (entire article)

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Moses, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.