Friday, June 1, 2018
Elder Symeon Kragiopoulos: "God calls all of us and can make each of us a saint..."
Synaxis of All Saints (source)
1st Sunday of Matthew
June 15th, 2014 Bl. Augustine
Matthew 10: 32-33, 37-38; 19: 27-30
‘’The saints make manifest the Holy Spirit’’
A characteristic of the spiritual life is that a person continually makes a new start. He never tires. Fatigue, boredom, despondency, laziness are all human and earthly; they don’t have anything to do with the man of God though. A new day, a new life. A new hour, a new life. Especially today as we close the festal cycle attached to Pascha and start again in some way from the beginning, we should have the attitude that now we are being born, now we are meeting Christ, now we are starting.
Man tires easily and becomes bored above all when he is not expecting some pleasure from what he does. He becomes active, he comes to life only when he pursues something that pleases him. If he is required to make some sacrifice without expecting to be pleased, then he feels a lack of will, a boredom. His whole self feels heavy. He becomes confused, like he’s not sure what he ought to do. Within him is upheaval.
These things are straightforward, though, because we not only have before us the Gospel, but also a two thousand year history, the experience of the Church, and of all the saints. In the Lives of the Saints we find the Gospel put into practice. Studying the Gospel alongside the Lives of the Saints, which saints we imitate, we are not deceived. Why do we become deceived? Because deep within us we want to be deceived. So we are the ones who choose the lie. We think what we think and instead of accepting the truth, we accept a lie. Instead of being influenced by that which is true, we’re influenced by that which is false, illegitimate. The Saints, however, did not do this. What did they do then? Just as Christ, the Son, made manifest his Father, and the Holy Spirit made manifest Christ, so the saints within Orthodox Church make manifest the Holy Spirit, as we observe the fruit of the Spirit in their lives: This is precisely what made them saints, what deified them.
We are all children of God. God calls all of us and can make each of us a saint, can deify us. Do we want it?
Transcribed talks by Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
From: Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Translated by Fr. Matthew Penney (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!