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I wonder, has anyone of you begged God
about me and for the whole body of the Church,
for the fire to be quenched that was born out of vanity,
the fire that destroys the whole body,
the fire that divides the one body to many parts and tears love apart?
Because exactly like a beast that fell with a rush
upon a gentile and delicate body which cannot defend itself,
likewise she bittened her hideous teeth into the body of the Church
and spilled her poison permeating her with a lot of stench;
and other from its members she ripped them off and threw them away,
others she teared apart and she cut them in pieces and others she chewed them up.
And if it was possible for someone to see with his own eyes
the vanity and the Church,
he would see a pitiful spectacle and much more horrible
from those that are happening at the stadiums;
He would see the body thrown down and her, the vanity, standing above it,
looking all around and holding in tight grip the fallen ones,
without moving away from them not even a while and without feeling pity for them.
Which one of us therefore is going to expel this beast?
Its banishment is the work of the One has originally set this struggle;
Him, after He gets invited by us, will send His angels
and after they obstruct the audacious and insolent mouth of her as if with some kind of ropes,
they will thus take her away.
But only then He is going to do that the One Who has set the struggle,
when we cease, once she has been taken away, to look for her again;
but if He sends His angels giving them the order
to take away from us this terrible beast,
but we, after it is been taken away and it is been locked inside it's nest,
after we get back up full of innumerables wounds, we ask for it again,
by banging and turning everything around, in order to release it again,
then after all that God will not show mercy upon us and will not feel sorry for us;
because as it's said; «who shall show mercy
to the wizard who seduces the snakes after he get bitten by the snake,
or to all these people who come near the beasts?».
But let us come to another kind of vanity.
Which one is this? The one that are many who have it and not only one or two.
We are glad when we are praised for things,
which things we quite well know that are not beneficial for us not even to the least degree.
The poor man also is doing everything, in order to put on good clothes, for no other reason,
but only in order to be praised from the many;
and many times while he can perfectly serve himself, he bought a servant
not because he needed him, but in order not to be seen
that his reputation was rduced when he was serving himself.
Because tell me, for what reason,
while for the whole year you are self-serving using your own hands,
you now want to be served by someone else?
Then, if there are any money left over to him,
he goes on and buys silver utensils and builds a luxurious house.
And none of these things he is doing out of necessity;
because, if all this was done out of necessity,
the greatest part of the mankind
would be vanished and would be destroyed;
I mean this with what I am saying;
there are things that are necessary without which it is not possible for someone to live;
like for example the fruition of the earth is a necessary thing
and if the earth doesn't produce fruit it is not possible for the man to live;
also the clothes that protects the people,
the roof and the walls of the house as well as the shoes these are necessary too,
while all the rest is unnecessary.
Because, if those too were necessary
and it would not be possible for the man to live without a servant,
exactly like it is not possible for him to live without these other things,
the greatest part of the mankind would vanish,
because the greatest part of them do not have servants.
If it was necessary for the man to use silver utensils
and would not be possible to live without them,
the greatest part of the people would again be destroyed, because most of the people do not have silver utensils.
If someone therefore says to them who have silver utensils;
«for what reason therefore do you want to have this utensils?
tell me the reason and what is the use for it?»
no other reason he would be able to tell you
but only in order to be honored by the many.
«And I possess them for the purpose of being admired and not being despised,
and then I hide them in order not to be envied and not being harmed».
What could be worse than this nonsense?
If you have them in order to be honoured by the many,
show them to everyone, but if you are afraid of the envy,
it is better if you had not even acquired them.
Some people sometimes, while they lack the basics
and while they are dying from hunger,
they don't stop their interest for the utensils.
And if you ask them why? «We must», they say, «maintain our dignity».
What dignity are you saying oh man? This is not dignity for the human being.
because Elijah had nothing more than the fleece
and he depended on the help of the widow woman,
who was poor herself as well, and she made a living by begging,
approaching at the door of this very poor woman and speaking out the words of the beggars.
he would have acted a great ugliness Elisha himself too,
who was feeding in the house of the poor woman.
John too would have acted an ugliness who didn't have nor clothes, neither he had any bread to eat.
The ugliness is just that, for someone to acquire a lot of money,
and this is in reality the great ugliness.
Because in that case someone gets the reputation of the tough guy, of someone soft,
of someone stupid, of someone arrogant,
of someone vain, of someone ferocious.
It's not an accomplishment for someone to wear nice clothes,
but it is an accomplishment when someone is adorned with good deeds.
And I hear about many people who are admired for this.
«That one», they say, «has his full dignity;
he has a bed with fine coverings as well as many brass utensils;
he is a really prosperous householder».
«Why», they say, «are you accusing us, that we possess these things,
while you should rather accuse those who have many more?»
By accusing you much more I am accusing them;
because, if I do not absolve from the accusation
those who have few things, much more
I do not absolve those who have more.
Dignity is not the illustrious house,
or the luxurious bedspreads, nor the soft mattresses,
nor the nicely groomed bed, nor the multitude of the servants.
Because all these things are rejected by us
and they do not have nothing to do with us.
The things that are related to us are the indulgence,
the contempt for the money, the contempt for the glory,
the indifference towards the honor from the many,
to be victorious over nature through our virtuous life.
This is accomplishment, this is glory, this is honor.
But the cause of all the evils is being created from the very beginning,
and how this is happening I am going to tell you.
Immediately after the child is born his father is considering every detail, not about how to correctly arrange his life,
but about how to make him look beautiful and how to dress him with jewelry and beautiful clothes.
Why are you doing this, oh man? All right, on your own you wear these; why also the child,
that has not yet known this mania, are you accustoming it to those?
For what reason are you hanging ornaments around its neck?
A right teacher is needed, in order to educate the child correctly, and the gold is not necessary at all.
Also you let his hair grow, in an analogy to the girls,
making thus the boy effeminate and converting to frail his powerful nature,
from the first moment putting inside him the love for the money
and persuading it into getting aroused by useless things.
Why are you making bigger the devil's offensive against him?
why are you making him become overseduced by the bodily temptations?
«If the man», they say, «has long hair, it is not honorable for him».
Nature does not want that; God has not allowed it;
this thing has been forbidden; it is a consequence of the greek superstition.
Many also hung golden jewelry upon their ears too;
hopefully not even upon their daughters they would not hang them,
you however even the boys you lead them to destruction.
Maybe many are now laughing for what I am saying, considering these things insignificant.
They are not small however, but instead they are greatly important.
If the girl gets used to be inside the female wardrobe
to get herself fascinated by the female adornments,
when she will have gone from her father's house she will be very difficult
and unbearable to her husband
and more burdensome than those who collect the taxes.
I have told you again some other time,
that from there the wickedness begins to become hard to fight back,
from the fact that no one ever talks to them about purity,
no one ever about prudence, no one ever about the contempt of the money and the glory,
nobody for those things that the Scripture commands.
When therefore from the very first age the children are lacking the teachers,
what will they become?
Because, if some people, while they are fed since the belly of their mother
and they get educated until their old age,
they still do not manage to become decent persons,
those who since the beginning of their lives are getting used to these teachings
what kind of evil are they not able to do?
But now every single one is making every conscious effort
how to teach to his children arts and letters, rhetoric ability in public speaking,
but in what way could their soul become skillful,
about this no one shows no interest.
I do not cease begging you
and imploring you and insisting upon my prayers,
so that before anything else you should first give the right upbringing to the children.
If you really love your child, show your love through this;
besides about this thing you shall also have a reward.
Because listen to Paul who says;
«if they remain stable in the faith,
the love and the sanctification with prudence».
And if you have the feeling that you have committed countless sins,
at least try to find together with this also some consolation for your wrongdoings.
Bring up your child as an athlete for Christ. I am not saying this,
to obstruct him from entering into marriage and to send him to the desert
and to prepare him to prefer the solitary life;
I'm not saying this.
I want this of course and I would wish if everyone would accept it,
but because it is considered to be heavy, I do not force.
Bring up your child as an athlete for Christ and while living within the world
teach him since his early youth how to be pious.
If the good teachings are imprinted in the soul while it is still soft,
nobody will be able to eliminate them, when it will become hard
like the sealing wax, exactly as it happens also with the wax.
You still got him full of fear and awe and that he still fears
even your face and your words and everything else;
make use of your authority as you should.
It's you first who enjoys the benefits, if you have a good son and then comes God; you are striving for yourself.
They say that the pearls,
as soon as they extract them from the water they are soft as water.
Therefore if he is experienced the one who takes them out,
by placing that drop on the palm of his hand
and by moving his hand in all directions and in a very careful manner
he is sculpturing it and makes it very very round.
But when it solidifies,
then he cannot give it the shape that he wants.
Because the soft is suitable for every form,
because it still does not have stabilized its condition,
and for this reason it can easily take any shape;
the hard however, just because it has acquired the hardness as if in some permanent condition,
is not easy for it to change and take some other shape.
Each one of you therefore, father or mother, exactly as we see the painters
processing with great care and exactitud the paintings and the sculptures,
similarly you should care as well for these marvelous living sculptures.
That is, the painters
after they place in front of them the canvas
they keep adding every day the color that it needs.
The sculptors on the other hand they are doing the same as well over the stones;
they remove whatever is redundant and they add whatever is missing.
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