Tuesday, July 7, 2009

St. Akakios the Righteous of Sinai, and St. John Klimakos on Obedience

Icon of St. Akakios of Sinai, who was mentioned in the Ladder of Divine Ascent - Commemorated on July 7 (taken from: http://christopherklitou.com/icon_7_july_acacius_of_sinai.htm)
   
"Saint Acacius of Sinai lived during the sixth century and was a novice at a certain monastery in Asia. The humble monk distinguished himself by his patient and unquestioning obedience to his Elder, a harsh and dissolute man. He forced his disciple to toil excessively, starved him with hunger, and beat him without mercy. Despite such treatment, St Acacius meekly endured the affliction and thanked God for everything. St Acacius died after suffering these torments for nine years.
   
Five days after Acacius was buried, his Elder told another Elder about the death of his disciple. The second Elder did not believe that the young monk was dead. They went to the grave of Acacius and the second Elder called out: "Brother Acacius, are you dead?" From the grave a voice replied, "No, Father, how is it possible for an obedient man to die?" The startled Elder of St Acacius fell down with tears before the grave, asking forgiveness of his disciple.
   
After this he repented, constantly saying to the Fathers, "I have committed murder." He lived in a cell near the grave of St Acacius, and he ended his life in prayer and in meekness. St John Climacus (March 30) mentions him in THE LADDER (Step 4:110) as an example of endurance and obedience, and of the rewards for these virtues.
   
St Acacius is also commemorated on November 29."
   
Troparion of Sts. Thomas of Malea and Akakios of Sinai - Tone 4
O God of our Fathers, always act with kindness towards us; take not Your mercy from us, but guide our lives in peace through the prayers of Saints Thomas and Acacius.
   
Kontakion - Tone 2 Podoben: "Seeking the highest..."
Forsaking the world, you followed Christ from childhood. Emulating His voluntary humility, you cast down the prideful tyrant. All-wise and venerable Acacius, unceasingly pray for us all!
   
Icon of St. John Klimakos, author of the Ladder of Divine Ascent (Icon courtesy of www.eikonografos.com used with permission)
   
Quote from the Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step IV: On blessed and ever-memorable obedience.
"Obedience is absolute renunciation of our own life, clearly expressed in our bodily actions. Or, conversely, obedience is the mortification of the limbs while the mind remains alive. Obedience is unquestioning movement, voluntary death, a life free of curiosity, carefree danger, unprepared defence before God, fearlessness of death, a safe voyage, a sleeper’s progress. Obedience is the tomb of the will and the resurrection of humility. A corpse does not argue or reason as to what is good or what seems to be bad. For he who has devoutly put the soul of the novice to death will answer for everything. Obedience is an abandonment of discernment in a wealth of discernment."
(from the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Klimakos, taken from the translation by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, excerpts posted here: http://www.innerlightproductions.com/thoughts/oct0399.htm)
   
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

2 comments:

Safiya said...

Obedience is a heavenly key! Thanks for your work.

Safiya said...

Obedience is a heavenly key! Thanks for your work.