Homily- By: St. Nicholas (Velimirovic) of Zhicha


St. Nicholas (Velimirovic) of Ohrid

St. Nicholas (Velimirovic) of Ohrid

On the power and efficacy of good works

For so is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (I Peter 2:15).

Breathen, it is difficult to argue with an atheist; it is difficult to talk with a madman; it is difficult to persuade and embittered man with words. You will convince them more easily by deed. They may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation (I Peter 2:12).

Do good to those who wish to argue with you, and you will win the argument. One deed of compassion will bring the madman to his senses and will pacify the embittered man more quickly than many hours of conversation. If atheism, madness and bitterness stem from ignorance, that ignorance is like a rage which can quickly be retrained by good works. If you argue with an atheist in his own rabid manner, you strengthen the rage of atheism. If you converse with a madman by derision, the darkness of his madness is increased. If you think you will overcome an embittered man with anger, you will stir up greater fire of bitterness. A meek and good deed is like water on a fire. Always remember the Holy Apostles and their successful methods of behavior toward men. If an atheist provokes you, it is not the man that provokes you but the devil; for man is by nature religious. If a madman swears at you, it is not the man that swears at you but the devil; for man is by nature reasonable. If an embittered man persecutes you, it is not the man that persecutes you but the devil; for man is by nature good. The devil provokes you to lengthy arguments and unfruitful conversations, but he flees from good deeds.

Do good in the name of Christ, and the devil will flee. Only then will you have dealings with men, with true men: pious, reasonable and good. Therefore, whatever you do, do it in the name of the Lord.

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

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"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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