Martyrs of good hope, pray to God for us!

Martyrs of good hope, pray to God for us!



Martyrs of good hope, pray to God for us.

You who have buried all hopes, so that you might be wealthy in a single hope;

Who have awaited the end of many human aspirations, and seen the ashes;

Who have seen many tear-stained eyes returning from the graveyard of their hopes;


Who have heard many confessions concerning the evil stench of every worldly hope from the other realm;

And who have permitted yourselves to be crucified* for one special hope, which does not end in ashes, nor in a graveyard, nor in an evil stench.

To you we bow down and pray: "Pray to God for us."

I saw a child chasing after a bird with dappled feathers and a golden beak for a long time, and when he caught it, the bird pecked him and the child began to cry.

I said: "Such are you with your hopes, human children, and such is your end."

Again I saw a child running after a swarm of spring butterflies for a long time, and when one butterfly was near him, he left it and ran off after the others, which seemed to him to be more beautiful.

I said: "Such are the sons of men, and such is their running through the whole of life after many desires."

Truly, your race is tiring and futile. If the hour of death comes upon you, you will not be able to say what it is that you have been pursuing. And you will enter into the other world with empty hands and a perplexed heart.

The race of the sons of heaven is also tiring, but is not futile. And when the hour of death comes upon them, they will be able to say what it is that they have been pursuing. And in the other world they will have full hands and a restful heart.

An eagle beneath the clouds sees a lamb in the field and descends toward it, and asks the sparrows perched on the back of the lamb: "Do you not see the lamb?" And they answer him: "No, we do not see it." So it is with martyrs of good hope. At a great distance they spot their nourishment, while those next to the nourishment are walking over it without seeing it.

The race for good hope is a long one. But a champion sets his mind on the race, and casts all illusory hopes beneath his feet and tramples over them like dry leaves. There are many, very many hurdles between him and his hope;--and death is one of the hurdles. But he leaps over them all; he even leaps over death, and pursues his hope.

Martyrs of good hope, who flutter around the Light of Heaven like a flock of white doves, pray to God for us.



*. Rm. 6:6, Gal. 2:20; 5:24.

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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