Like a good host, the Lord sets His table and awaits His guests

 

People have become bad, and so they say: "What does the Lord do for us?"

The Lord gives life to every body; the Lord gives a face to every creature. The Lord is as tenderhearted as a child, and selfishness and gloominess are unknown to Him.

The Lord gives to everyone whatever one asks of Him.(1) The Lord fills His eternity with giving, and yet you say: "What does the Lord give to us?" You would not even have been able to pose this question, if the Lord had not given you the power to do so.


The Lord collects the tears of those who mourn in the palms of His hands. The Lord visits captives. The Lord sits at the bedside of the sick.

The Lord keeps vigil over perilous paths, and keeps watch over the depths of the sea, and yet you say: "What does the Lord do for us?"

Whatever you ask of the Lord, He also gives you. But because you began to seek more from the world than from the Lord, you feel deluded in your hopes, and so you say: "What does the Lord do for us?"

Like a good host, the Lord sets His table and awaits His guests. The Lord listens attentively for knocking, and is quick to open the door to every guest.(2) Around His table are clustered undreamed-of mansions; at His table are many seats. Whoever strikes His door and knocks, will not be turned away, and yet you say: "Why did the Lord not open when we knocked?" Because you knocked at the door of the Lord with doubt, but at the door of the world with faith.(3)

The Lord stands at the door of your soul with a broom, ready, at your invitation, to clean the horrendous filth out of your soul, to make your newly-cleaned soul fragrant with in­cense and fragrance, and to adorn her with virginal jewelry -- the Lord is standing and waiting for your invitation.(4)

At the edge of your heart the Lord is standing with a tall candle that burns without smoking or melting. The Lord is standing and waiting at your invitation, to bring the candle into your heart and enlighten it, to burn up all the fear in your heart, all its selfish passions and all its ugly desires, and to drive out of your heart all the smoke and foul stench.

At the edge of your mind the Lord is standing with His wisdom and with His tongue, ready, at your invitation, to enter into it and drive out all its foolish thoughts, all its filthy fancies, and all its mistaken notions, and to erase from your mind all nonexistent images -- the Lord is standing and waiting to introduce His reason, His seals, and His words.

Yet you say: "Where is the Lord?" At the edge of your life. Therefore your life has become hunchbacked. If the Lord were in the center, where He was in the beginning and where His rightful place is, your life would be upright and you would see the Lord, and you would not be asking: "Where is the Lord?"

You have become bad, therefore you ask: "Where is the Lord?"

The Lord is too good, therefore the bad do not recognize Him.

The Lord is too translucent, therefore the dusty do not see Him.

The Lord is too holy, therefore the unholy do not perceive Him.

If there are not enough people, who will confess the name of the Lord, the Lord will manifest Himself through objects.

If even the stars of heaven forget the name of the Lord, it will not be forgotten by the countless hosts of angels in heaven.

The weaker the confession of the Lord's name in one realm, the stronger it is in another. Neither can the uttering of the name of God be decreased, nor can it be increased. If one brook dries up, another will begin to rise, and thus -- the sea maintains the same level.

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1. Matt. 7:7-12.
2. Luke 11:9-13.
3. James 1:5-8; Matt. 21:20-22; Mark 11:23-24.
4. Rev. 3:20.

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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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