The Shepherd, July 2008

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FROM THE FATHERS

 

    “ABBA JOHN the Eunuch, when he was young, asked a certain Elder ‘How is it that you can do the work of God with ease, while we, since we are overcome with fatigue, cannot do so?’  The Elder replied: ‘We can do this, since we place the work of God first in order and consider the satisfaction of bodily needs totally secondary; while you, on the contrary, give primary significance to the satisfaction of your bodily needs and reckon the work of God insignificant; and thus you get tired.  For you do not reflect on the words that the Saviour addressed to His Disciples: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…, and all these things shall be added unto you”’” (Matt. 6:33).

 

“SAINT JOHN the Great [i.e. St John the Merciful, the Almsgiver] made sure to correct as much as he could those who talked heedlessly in Church.  If he saw that anyone remained uncorrected after the first and second counsel, he immediately threw him out of the Church and repeated to him the words of the Master Christ: ‘The house of God must be a house of prayer.’  Conversely, those who showed interest in the services, and followed them with reverence and compunction, he received with joy, as lovers of God, and praised them, even honouring them with various ecclesiastical appointments.”

 

Two Extracts from "The Evergetinos" Volume I of the Second Book

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