Our Lord Jesus Christ and God, my brethren, the sweetest ruler and master, the creator of Angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation,
moved the Lord by His great goodness which he has for our generation, next to the infinite gifts that He granted us and keeps granting us during each day and hour and moment,
He condescended and became also a perfect man by the Holy Spirit and from the purest blood of our Lady the Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, to make us escape from the hands of the devil, and to make us sons and heirs of His kingdom, to rejoice forever in paradise together with the Angels and not to burn in hell with the impious and the demons.
Just like a land owner has vineyards and fields and hires workers, likewise the Lord also as a vineyard has the entire world;
and He took twelve Apostles, and He gave them His grace and His blessing, and He sent them to the whole world in order to teach the people how to live well here on earth, in peace, with love, and afterwards to go to the paradise, to rejoice forever;
to repent, to believe and to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to have love towards God and towards their brother.
And to whatever land the Apostles went and the people welcomed them, the Lord instructed them to bless that land; and again, to whatever land the Apostles went and were not welcomed, the Lord instructed them to shake off even the dust from their shoes and to get out of there.
Thus the Holy Apostles after receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit, as prudent and faithful servants of our Christ, they ran as the lightning throughout the entire world.
With that grace they healed the blind and the deaf and the lepers and those possessed by demons, and the greatest of all in the name of our Christ they commanded the dead and they raised.
And in whatever land they went the Holy Apostles and the people welcomed them, they turned them into christians, they ordained bishops and priests, they established Churches, and they blessed that land, and it turned into an earthly paradise, joy and gladness, habitat of angels, dwelling place of our Christ.
But in whatever place they went where people did not receive them well, he instructed them to shake off the dust from their shoes, and it remained in that land a curse and not a blessing, a residence of the devil and not of our Christ.
It is necessary and appropriate that a teacher, when he wants to teach, to first examine what kind of audience he has, and also the people in the audience to examine what kind of teacher he is.
And I, my brethren, who have been found worthy to stand in this holy place this apostolic post through the compassion of our Christ, I have first inquired about you and I have learned that with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, our God you are not pagan Greeks, you are not impious, heretics, atheists, but instead you are pious Orthodox Christians,
you believe and you have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and you are sons and daughters of our Christ.
And not only am I not worthy to teach you, but not even to kiss your feet. Because each one of you is more honest than the whole world.
And also you should know your nobility regarding me, I know that, that people are telling you things, but if maybe you want to learn the whole truth I will tell it to you.
My homeland, the false one, the earthly and futile one, comes from the province of the Saint of Arta and from the county called Apokouro. My father, my mother, my ancestry, we are pious Orthodox Christians.
Therefore I am also, my brethren a sinful man, worse than anyone else; but I am servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, the crucified God of ours.
I am not saying that I am worthy to be a servant of Christ, but that my Christ is accepting me because of his compassion.
To our Christ therefore, my brethren, I believe, I glorify and I worship. To our Christ I beseech for Him to cleanse me from every sin spiritual and bodily. To our Christ I beseech to strengthen me so that I may defeat the three enemies: The world, the flesh and the devil.
To our Christ I beseech to make me worthy to also spill my blood myself for His love, as He spilled His own blood for the love He has for me.
In case, my brothers, that it were possible for me to climb up to the sky, and shout with a loud voice, and to preach to the whole world, that only our Christ is the Son and Word of God, and the true God, and the life of everything,
I wanted to do it this small thing, and for this I walk from place to place, and I teach my brethren as much as I can, not as a teacher, but as a brother; because teacher is our Christ only.
Departing from my homeland fifty years ago, I walked to many places, castles, cities, and villages, and especially to Constantinople, and the longest time I stayed on the Holy Mountain of Athos, seventeen years, where I was crying for my sins.
Among the countless gifts which my Lord has granted me, he made me worthy of acquiring a little of Greek language, and I also became a monk.
While studying the holy and sacred Gospel I found in it many and different teachings, which are all of them like pearls, diamonds, a treasure, riches, joy, gladness, eternal life.
Among the others I found this teaching as well in which our Christ says, that no Christian should, man or woman, care about himself only how to be saved, but should be concerned also about his brethren so that they may not fall into sin.
After hearing myself too, my brethren this sweetest word where our Christ is telling us, to concern ourselves with our brothers also, that word was consuming me inside my heart for all these years, like the worm that eats the wood, what should I do myself considering also my ignorance.
I sought the advice of my spiritual fathers, bishops, patriarchs, I revealed my thinking to them, asking whether it pleases God such a project for me to work upon, and everyone urged me to do it, and they told me that such a work is both good and sacred.
Actually, urged on by his Holiness Sophronios, the Patriarch - may his blessing be upon us - and receiving his sacred blessings, I left behind my own progress in asceticism, I left behind my own good, and went out to walk into the world from place to place and to teach my brethren.
After I started teaching a thought occurred to me as I was walking around; that I should ask for money because I liked money and I loved the coins, yes, but also the golden coins even more, not like you all noble people that you despise the money, or is it not so, that you despise it?
When studying at another time the holy and sacred Gospel, I found another word where our Christ says;
that free of charge I have given you my grace, free of charge you should also give it to your brethren, free of charge to teach, free of charge to counsel, free of charge to hear confessions, and if you dare ask and receive any kind of payment for the teaching, great or small, or even a penny, I shall give you death and I shall put you in hell.
After hearing myself, my brethren, that sweetest speech where our Christ says, that we should serve on courtesy for our brethren, in the beginning it seemed heavy to me this saying, later however it seemed to me sweeter like a honeycomb, and I glorified and glorify a thousand times my Christ because he guarded me from that passion of avarice,
and with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the Crucified God of ours I have neither purse, nor house, nor chest, nor a second cassock than this that I am wearing, but I still beseech my Lord until the end of my life to make me worthy to never to acquire a purse, for as soon as I make a beginning in accepting money, I will have immediately lost my brethren, and I cannot have both, either God or the devil.
It is necessary and appropriate my fellow Christians, as we learn by the holy Gospel and by the sacred Scriptures, to begin our teaching with God, and after we finish, to thank God; I am not saying I am worthy to mention the name of my God, but God permits this because of his compassion.
We leave aside therefore, my brethren, the prattlings of the impious, of the heretics, of the atheists, and we shall speak only what the Holy Spirit has inspired to the holy Prophets, the Apostles and the Fathers of our Church when they wrote to us, and again we cannot speak of all teachings, for it is not possible; we would need many years for this; but just a few things that seem more important; and whoever is eager for learning, let him seek to learn also the rest.
The most benevolent God therefore, my brethren, and the most merciful God is unique, and whoever says that there are many gods, is a devil.
And He is incomprehensible, inscrutable Lord, omnipotent, full of light, full of joy, full of compassion, full of love.
We have not any one example to compare with the Holy Trinity, because there is none other similar thing in the world. But in order to receive some little help our mind, they bring forth some examples to us the theologians of the Church. Among with the others they bring to us also the example of the sun.
We all know about the sun that is unique, and God also is unique; and as the sun illuminates this world the perceptible one, likewise the Holy Trinity, the God, illuminates the intelligible world.
We have said, my brethren, that the sun is unique, but it is also three things together; it has rays, which arrive to our eyes like lines, like threads; it also has light, that spreads throughout the entire world.
With the sun we compare the eternal Father, with the rays the co-eternal Son, and with the light the consubstantial Spirit.
There exist still another way for you to understand the Holy Trinity. How? To confess your sins candidly, to receive the holy Sacraments with fear and with reverence, and then you will be enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit to understand better.
This Holy Trinity we, the pious and orthodox christians we glorify and we worship; He is the true God, and other than the Holy Trinity all those who are called gods are demons.
And not only we believe, we glorify, we worship the Holy Trinity, but also, as many as the stars of the sky, and as the grains of the sea sand, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Ascetics have shed their blood for the love of the Holy Trinity and they have achieved the paradise and they rejoice forever.
Similarly men and women have denied the world, have gone off to the deserts and have practiced asceticism during all their lives, and have gone to paradise.
In addition, men and women have lived in the world with prudence and virginity, with fastings, with prayers, with alms, with good works, and they lived well here on earth and they went to paradise to rejoice forever.
There exist no such place from where God is absent. We also should, we, the pious Christians, when we want to do some sin, we should consider that God is right within our hearts, that he is present everywhere, and that He sees us;
we should be ashamed before the Angels, before the Saints, and especially before the angel, the guardian of our soul, the one who is watching us.
Before a little child we are embarrassed, when we commit the sin, and how can we not being embarrassed before so many Saints and Angels?
Our most benevolent and merciful God, my brethren, has many and various names; he is also called light, and life, and resurrection. But the principal name of our God is called love.
Ourselves we should, if we wish to live a good life here as well, and after to also go to the paradise, and to call our God as love and father, we should have two kinds of love; love for our God, and for our brethren.
And as a swallow needs two wings in order to fly in the air, similarly we also need these two loves, because without them it is impossible for us to be saved.
And first thing we have a duty to love our God, because he gave us such a large earth here to live on temporarily, so many thousands of plants, fountains, rivers, seas, the air, the day, the night, the sky, the sun, etc. All these things for whom else did he create, if not for us?
What did He owe us? Nothing. It was all gifted; He created us as human beings, He did not make us animals; He made us pious orthodox christians, and not impious heretics;
and although we sin thousands of times every hour, He has compassion for us like a father and He does not kill us in order to put us in hell, but He is waiting for our repentance with His arms open,
for when we shall repent, when we shall stop doing evil and start doing the good deeds, to confess, to restore ourselves, for Him to embrace us, to put us in paradise to rejoice forever.
And now then a God and Lord who is so sweet shouldn't we also love Him, and if the need occurs, shouldn't we also shed our blood a thousand times for His love, as He Himself also shed it for our love?
Some man invites you to his house and wishes to please you with a glass of wine, and always in your whole life you will respect him and honor him; and God shouldn't you honor and respect, Him who gave you so many good things and was crucified for your love?
Which father was ever crucified for his children at any given time? And our sweet Jesus Christ shed His blood and He ransomed us out of the hands of the devil.
And now shouldn't we also love our Christ? But we not only we do not love him, but we insult him every day through the sins that we commit.
Instead whom do you want us to love, my brethren? Should we love the devil instead, who took us out from the paradise and brought us to this accursed world and we suffer so much evil?
Moreover, the devil is predisposed, for if he could, this very minute, kill us all and put us in hell, he would do it.
And now I ask you, my brethren, to tell me what we should do, hate the devil, our enemy, or love our God, our author, our creator? - Yes, Oh saint of God. - Very well you have said it, thank you for your blessings, I am saying the same, but again God needs a base upon which to settle; and which is that base? The love.
Let us have that love therefore ourselves towards God and towards our brethren, and then our God will come and He will gladden us, and He will plant inside our hearts the eternal life, and we shal live well here on earth and then we shall go to paradise too to rejoice forever.
We instead not only we do not have the love, but we have the hatred and the malice in our heart and we hate our brethren;
then the cunning devil comes and he embitters us and plants the death inside our soul and we live badly here on earth, and then we go to hell and we burn forever.
It is natural for us to love our brethren; because we are of the same nature, we have the same baptism, the same faith, the same Holy Sacraments we all receive, the same paradise we hope to enjoy.
Fortunate is the man who was worthy and received in his heart these two loves, towards God, and towards his brethren.
Because anyone who has God in his heart, possesses all the goods, and the sin he cannot bear to commit it; and who does not have God in the heart, he has the devil, and commits all the evil deeds and all the sins.
Thousands of good deeds if we perform, my brethren, fasts, prayers, almsgiving, and even if we shed our blood for our Christ, if we do not have these two loves, but instead we have hatred and enmity towards our brethren, all that good deeds that we have done are of the devil and to hell we are heading.
But wait, you might say, there with that little hatred that we have towards our brothers, having so many good deeds performed to hell we go? Yes, my brethren, because that hatred is poison of the devil;
and just as when we put in a hundred pounds of flour a little yeast, and it has such power and it rises all the dough that might be there, similar it is with the hatred; all that good deeds that we have done, it turns them and transforms them to poison of the devil.
Over here, my christians, how are you getting along? Do you have love among you? Because if you want to be saved, do not ask for any other thing here in this world other than love.
Let him stand up and say it to me, so that I may pray for him too, and motivate also the other christians to forgive him, for him to receive such forgiveness, that if he had given thousands of coins he wouldn't have found it.
- I, myself, Oh saint of God, I both love God and my brethren. - Well, my child, have my blessing. What name do they call you? - Kostas. - What is your profession? - I tend sheep. - The cheese when you sell it do you weigh it? - I do weigh it.
- You, my child, have learned to weigh the cheese, and I have learned to weigh the love. Is the scale ashamed of its owner? - No. - Now let me also weigh your love, and if it is true and is not false, then I will pray for you too, and I will ask from all the christians too to forgive you.
- How can I understand, my son, whether you love your brethren? Right here I myself where I walk and teach in the world, I say that I love my fellow Kostas as dearly as my own eyes; but you do not believe it; you want to try me first, and then you will believe me.
I have bread to eat, you do not have; now if I were to give you a piece to you too, that you have not, this is how I reveal that I love you. Instead, if I eat all of the bread while you being hungry, what do I reveal? That the love that I have for you is false.
I have two glasses of wine to drink, you do not have any; if I give to you too some of it to drink, then I reveal that I love you. If instead I do not give you, then the love is false.
You are sad; your mother have died, or your father; if I come to console you, then it is true my love. If instead, you cry and mourn and I eat, drink, and dance, then my love is false.
- Do you love that poor boy? - I love him. - If you loved him, you would buy him a shirt because he is naked, and then he would also pray for your soul. Isn't it so, my Christians? With false love we cannot go to paradise.
Now, if you wish to make your love so pure as gold, go ahead and dress up the poor children, and then I will ask everyone to forgive you. Will you do it? - I will do it.
- Dear christians, Kostas has understood, that the love he had until now was false, and he wants to make it pure as gold, to dress up the poor children. And because we have tired him, I beg you to say for fellow Kostas three times: May God forgive him and have mercy upon him.
The most benevolent, therefore, and merciful God is love and is named love; is Trinity and is named Trinity. Prompted the Lord by His compassion He first created ten battalions of Angels.
The Angels are fiery spirits, immaterial ones, as is our soul. Each battalion is numerous like the stars of the sky.
Who prompted God and created them? His compassion. We must also, my brethren, if we want the right to call our God father, be compassionate, to make effort for our brethren to rejoice, and then we can call our God as father: «Our father who is in heaven...»
But if we are merciless, hard-hearted and we make our brethren are embittered and we put death in their hearts, we should not call our God as father, but the devil instead, because it's the devil who wants us to make our brethren become bitter, and not God.
And so, my brethren, the first battalion of the Angels of which we spoke earlier, fell into pride and attempted to be glorified same as God.
From the point that he was a luminous and most brilliant angel, he became the darkest devil, and enemy of the humans; and he is condemned to burn forever in hell. And when we hear of the devil, we know he is the one who once was the leading angel;
we know he is the one who enters into a dead man's body and makes him appear as alive and we call him vampire;
we know he is the one who also enters inside a living person and carries on the image of Christ, of Virgin Mary or of some Saint, running up and down like possessed, and says that he performs miracles.
It's him the devil the one who enters inside a person and makes him epileptic and makes him demonic.
And let God be glorified for He has offered us three weapons with which we can fight him. And if there is here someone of you who becomes possessed, and who wishes to learn the medicines, it is easy;
the confession, the fasting and the prayer. The more a person goes to confession, the more he fasts and he prays, the more he burns and flees the devil.
When it fell the first battalion from its rank of angelic glory and became demons, the remaining nine orders humbled themselves and they bowed in worship of the Holy Trinity and they remained in their place to rejoice forever.
We should also, my brethren, reflect about what a great evil is the pride; it brought down the devil from the heights of the angelic glory and now he must burn in hell forever; and also, how humility preserved the Angels in heaven to rejoice forever in that glory of the Holy Trinity.
And not only God, but ourselves too, when we see someone humble, we see him as an angel, he makes us want to open our heart and put him inside; but when we see someone proud, we look upon him as if he is the devil, and we turn our face to another direction in order not to look at him.
Let us avoid then, my brethren, the pride, because it is the eldest daughter of the devil, it is the road which leads us to hell, and let us have humility instead, because it is angelic, it is the road which takes us to paradise.
How are things here for you? Do you prefer to love pride or humility? Whoever loves humility, let him stand up and tell me so, so that I may pray for him. - I myself, Oh holy man of God, I love humility. - Take off your clothes, put on some poor clothes, and walk around the square.
You are not willing to do it? Are you ashamed? Do something else. Cut off half of your mustache and come out to the bazaar. You will not do this either? I am not saying this to you only, but in order to hear the others as well; you should not say that you are humble.
Do you also see me with this beard? It is filled with pride, and I wish that God uproots it from our hearts.
When the first battalion of angels fell and they became demons, then the most gracious God commanded and this world was created. And since the time that He created the world have passed 7,288 years.
This world however is like an egg, and just as the yolk is in the center of the egg, so is the earth made by God to stand there without touching in no other place.
And just as the shell is all around, likewise also the sky is all around the earth. The sun, the moon and the stars are attached on the sky.
The earth is round, and wherever the sun goes, there it becomes day, while the night is the shadow of the earth.
Here right now we have night, in another place it is dawn; and just as there are people here upon the earth, there are also some under the earth.
This is why the holy Fathers have ruled that we must color the eggs red during Easter. Because the egg symbolizes the world, while the red color symbolizes the blood of our Christ, which He spilled on the Cross and sanctified the whole world.
We too should rejoice and be glad a thousand times, because Christ has spilled his blood and purchased us from the hands of the devil; but we should also weep and mourn, because our sins crucified the Son of God, our Christ.
God commanded and became the seven days; and as first day He made the Sunday and He kept it for Himself;
and the other six days he gave them to us in order to work for the false and earthly affairs, and during Sunday to stop working and to go to our churches to glorify our God, to stand with reverence, and listen to the Holy Gospel and the other books of our Church.
What does our Christ orders us to do? To meditate over our sins, over the death, over the hell, the paradise, our soul which is more precious than the entire world,
we are supposed to eat and to drink moderately, and similarly to clothe ourselves moderately, and the remaining time to use it for our soul, to convert it a bride for our Christ, and only then we can call ourselves human beings and earthly angels.
But if we concern ourselves with how to eat, how to drink, how to commit the sins, how to dress up this stinking body, which tomorrow it will be eaten by worms, and not caring about the soul which is eternal, then we should not be called human beings, but animals.
On the first day God commanded and light was made. On the second day, the sky, the earth, the waters, the wind etc.
On the fifth day the sea, the fish and the birds. On the day of Friday he ordered the earth to produce all the animals.
The man and the woman in the world there weren't yet. God received soil from the earth and created a man like us, and He breathed in him and He gave him an eternal soul.
And just as we human beings put flour and water and we knead them and make a loaf of bread, so did God as well.
We must also reflect upon what is the body and what is the soul. The body is soil and tomorrow the worms will eat it, and it is destined the soul to rejoice forever in the paradise, if it has done good deeds.
This very body which you see, my brethren, is the garment of the soul. The soul is the actual man; it is the soul that sees, hears, talks, walks, practice the sciences, gives life to the body and does not let it decompose.
And when the soul comes out, then the body stinks, and is eaten by worms. The body has the eyes, but does not see; has the ears, but does not hear; likewise with the other senses of the body. They are all activated by the soul.
- Do you mourn the dead? - We mourn them. - As it seems, you feel pain for them. And how many days do you keep them? - Two, three hours. - That much love you have for the unfortunate man?
From today and on do not bury the dead immediately, but guide him for twenty-four hours; and gather all together, young and old, and reflect upon it well, because better teacher there is no other than death.
And do not heavily mourn for the dead, because you harm both yourself and them. And the women who keep dirty mourning kerchiefs throw them away.
When God created the man, then the most merciful One took a rib from him and formed the woman, and He gave her to him as a companion. As equal God created her the woman to the man, not as inferior.
- How do you esteem the women here? - As inferiors. - If, my brethren, you want to be better you men than the women, then you must perform also better works than them;
because if the women perform better deeds and they go to paradise and ourselves we go to hell, what do we profit?
We are men and yet we act worse. I observe wherever I travel and preach; I spoke out a word for the women and they consider it to remove the superfluous earrings, and rings, and they immediately obeyed. And I see them rushing to confession.
And I also said a word for the men; it is natural for a man when he becomes fifty years old to grow a beard; but I see here some who are sixty and old men of eighty years, and they still shave.
Are not you ashamed to shave? Did not God know better when He gave us beards? And just as it is unseemly for an old woman to deck herself out and to put on cosmetics, likewise it is for an old man, when he shaves.
The wheat, when it starts becoming white, what does it want? Harvest. The same with man, when he starts getting white, what does this signify? Death.
- Is there anyone here who wishes to let grow his beard? Let him stand up and tell me, to become brothers, myself also to pray for him, and to ask from all the Christians to forgive him. - I am, teacher. - Good, have my blessing.
Pray to God for me the sinner, and I too will pray for you, for as long as I live. Will you do it? - We do it, Oh saint of God.
- I beg you, my fellow Christians, to say, for all those who let their beards grow, three times: May God forgive and have mercy upon them.
Let ask your nobility also for forgiveness, and may God enlighten you some day, as you let your beard grow, to also let of your sins go. And you young men you should honor them;
and if it happens to be a man and he is thirty years old and he grew his beard, and also happened one of 50, or 60, or a 100 and he shaves, you should put the one who grew his beard to stay more from the one who shaves, as much in church, as at the table.
I do not say to you, on the other hand, that a beard will take you to heaven, but the good works will. And your dress should be modest, and your food and your drink, and your whole conduct should be Christian, so that you give a good example for the others as well.
Man, my brethren, gave birth to the woman from his side with no help of woman, and become strong again. She borrowed the side from the man and she owed for it.
They were born as many as the stars in heaven women in the world, but none was found worthy to give birth to a man, to pay back the side which she owed, except for the Lady Theotokos, who was found worthy out of her purity and gave birth to sweetest Jesus by the Holy Spirit, without man, being a virgin, and again remained virgin, and paid back for that side.
Listen, my brethren, what joyful mysteries our holy Church has? But she has them hidden and they need uncovering. This is why you must all get education, for you to understand how you walk.
And you, oh man, do not treat your wife like a slave, because creature of God she is too just as you are. As much God was crucified for you, that much also for her. Father you call your God, father she calls Him too.
You have one faith, one Baptism; God does not consider her inferior. This is why he did not make her from the head, for her to not have contempt for man. Similarly again he did not make her from the feet, for the man to not have contempt for woman.
God named man Adam, and woman Eve. He also created a paradise in the place of the East full of joy and gladness; neither hunger, nor thirst, nor illness, nor anything sad.
He adorned them with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. He placed them in paradise to rejoice as angels.
Said God to Adam and Eve: I have created you as human beings brighter than the sun. I have put you inside paradise, to enjoy from all the goods of paradise.
But so that you know that you have God as your author and creator, I give you one commandment; from this fig tree alone do not eat figs; but know this also, if you transgress my commandment and you eat, you will die.
And so God left them inside Paradise and they rejoiced like angels. For this the most gracious God adorned them with shame, and shame would protect them from every sin, but especially the woman.
For this, my fellow Christians, and also daughters of my Christ, as much as you can, to be covered with shame, and you will look like gold.
Adam and Eve died they went to hell and were burned for five and a half-thousand years because of one sin; what about us who commit many, and especially me, what is to happen to us?
God is compassionate, but also just. He has an iron rod; and as he punished Adam and Eve, same way He will punish us too, if we do not do good.
They transgressed Adam and Eve the commandment of God, and were exiled from paradise. Now what are we doing, my fellow Christians, us?
The Lord had compassion upon the race of humans and came and became perfect man from the Holy Spirit, from the purest blood of our Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and took us out of the hands of the devil.
Know that on the Day of the Lord took place the Annunciation of the Theotokos; on the Day of the Lord Christ was born and revealed to us the holy Faith, the holy Baptism, the holy Sacraments;
He was cursed, beaten, crucified in his human nature; he arose on the third day, He went to hell, and brought out Adam and Eve and their race; there was joy in heaven, in hades and in the entire world; it was poison and a double-edged sword for the Jews and for the devil;
He ascended into heaven and sat on the right of the Father, to rule with him forever, and be worshipped by the angels.
Let know that today, or tomorrow we expect the end of the world. You are prudent and wise; understand also by yourselves what is good and do it.
Now what seems to you reasonable for us to do? I have two thoughts. One thought tells me: Enough what you have said to these Christians, and get up in the morning and go also to another place to teach.
The other tells me: do not go; stay to tell them also the rest and tomorrow you can leave. What do you say shall I leave or stay? - Stay, Oh saint of God. - Good, my children, I shall stay;
how can be good for a man to work in a vineyard, or to tend sheep, and not to eat from their products? Now that I have come here and work for you is it good if you do not give me some consolation, payment?
And what kind of payment do I want? Money? What can I do with it? I, through the grace of God have neither a purse, nor a house, nor another cassock; and the bench that I stand on is yours, which represents my grave.
This grave has authority to teach kings, patriarchs, bishops, priests, men and women, young and old and the entire world. If I were to travel about for money, I would be crazy and foolish;
but what is my payment? For you to sit in groups of five, or ten, to discuss these divine teachings, to put them inside your heart, so that they may bring you the eternal life.
They are not, my brethren, my own words what I told you, but of the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Scriptures. What I have told you is the same as if He cames down God himself to tell them to you.
Now if you were to do these things and put them in your mind, it would not seem to me to be lost time my effort. But if you do not do them, I leave saddened with tears in my eyes.
Do you have a school here in your area for the children to read? - We do not, O saint of God. - You should all get together to establish a good school, to appoint a committee that will govern it, to appoint a teacher to educate all the children, rich and poor.
Because from the school we learn what God is, what is Holy Trinity, what are Angels, demons, paradise, hell, virtue, evil; what is soul, body etc.
Because without a school we walk in the darkness; from the school opens the monastery. If there were no school, how would I have learned to teach you?
I also studied about priests and about unbelievers, heretics, and atheists; the depths of wisdom I have searched; all the faiths are false;
this I understood to be true, that only the faith of the Orthodox Christians is good and sacred, to believe and to be baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
I tell you this now near the end; you should rejoice that you are Orthodox Christians, and should weep for the impious and heretics who walk in the darkness.
We, my fellow Christians, what are we, just or sinners? If we are just, we are of good fortune and thrice-blessed; if instead we are sinners, now is the time to repent, to cease from doing evil, and do the good deeds; because by tomorrow we do not know what will happen to us.
Take care then, my brethren, do not be proud, do not kill, do not fornicate, do not swear, do not say lies, do not slander, do not betray another, do not deck out your body, because it will be eaten by worms, but adorn the soul instead, which is worth more than the whole world.
Do pray, fast, give alms, keep the thought of death before you, for when you will leave from this false world, to go to that eternal one.
Listen, my brethren: Just as a rich man has ten servants and when one makes a mistake he dismisses and replaces him, so with our Lord, when it fell the first order of angels, God commanded and the world was made, and he made us human beings, in order to put us in the place of the angels.
We, my fellow christians, we have no homeland here. For this God made us with an upright head, and He put on us the brain on the upper part, so that we shall always reflect the heavenly kingdom, our true homeland.
So, my brethren, I will teach and counsel you, but I dare again and I beg the sweetest Jesus Christ to send from the sky His grace and His blessing to this land, and all the Christians, men and women, young and old, and to the work of your hands.
And first, my brethren, may God have compassion on you and forgive your sins and may He make you worthy to live good here on earth and in peace during this fruitless life, and after death to be in paradise, in our homeland the true one, to rejoice forever, to glorify and worship the Holy Trinity to the ages of the ages. Amen.
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