God-bearers, you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world


God-bearers, you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.(1) If you lose your flavor and become dark, the world will be a shell of life, a snake's slough, which a serpent sheds amid the thorns.(2)

You contain the heavenly flame amid
the ashes.(3) If you allow yourselves to die out, the world will be a pile of ashes beyond the gates of life.

Death-bearers babble about your life, because they have no life of their own.

Perjurers swear by your God, because they have no God of their own.

A liar justifies himself with your truth, because he has none of his own.

The world's wise men seek wisdom by a roundabout way and return to your wisdom, because there is no other.

Weaklings persecute you, because they fear your strength, and they themselves cannot take it away.

Cowards envy you for your courage, for there is nothing to encourage them.

Behold, the rich all beg from you, yet no one can give you anything. You are rich, for you have God. You are wealthy, for you are God-bearers.

Your soul is the cradle of the Living God. Your heart is His throne. Your mind is Mount Sinai, where He alone gives tablets of stone and speaks.(4)

Journey freely with God within you; you will not lose the way, and you will not be left without shelter. Enter with Him freely through the gates of the day, and the day will be yours. Enter with Him freely through the gates of the night, and the night will cringe with its specters, and will show you its wonders.

Do not sell your treasure, for the world cannot pay for it.(5)

Do not trade with the universe, for the universe can give nothing except itself. And its entirety is like paper compared to gold. It will burn up one day, and will be reduced to a handful of ashes.(6) Will it die? It is already dead, and has nothing without your spiritual treasure.

Space from one end to the other, cannot store your treasure.

Time, from one end to the other, cannot calculate your treasure.

The world persecutes you,(7) because you have peace, and it has none.

The world envies you, because you have wealth, and it is impoverished.

The world fears you, because you have power, and it is powerless.

The world hates you, because you have blessedness, and it is wretched.(8)

Do not spite the world, and do not add oil to the fire. For the whole world is ablaze with the flames of malice.

You have been isolated, you say? Are sepulchers really any kind of fellowship? One person alive in a cemetery is less alone than all the graves of the dead.

You are few in number, you say? But you are armed. Your adversaries are bound sepulchers.

The world is lifeless without you. You are the channels through which life pours into the world.

The world is joyless without you. Through you laughter is entering a prison.

Do not fatten your bodies, for to fatten is to fester. Do not pack mud onto your bones, for your bones will become sluggish and your souls will become thin.

Zealously keep the divine Bridegroom(9) within you, and beware lest you frighten Him away. He is truly as timorous as a bird, and will not impose Himself. At a single unseemly thought He flees from the mind. At a single filthy desire He flees from the heart.

Remember: if He abandons you, His last dug-out, the world will be a shell of life, a snake's slough, which a serpent sheds amid the thorns.

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1. Matt. 5:13-14.
2. Matt. 5:15-16 and 6:22-23.
3. Mark 9:49-50, Luke 3:16 and 12:49.
4. Exo. 19 and 20.
5. Matt. 13:44-46.
6. 2 Pet. 3:10-12.
7. Matt. 5:10-12 and John 15:20.
8. Matt. 10:22 and John 15:18-25.
9. Bridegroom Christ (Matt. 9:15 and 25:1-13, John 3:29).

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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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