An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Let fall a tear ...

Once Father Herman was invited to dine aboard the frigate which had arrived from St. Petersburg, with Captain G., who had been sent, on Imperial instructions, to inspect all the colonies. Captain G. was a very intelligent and educated man. At his table there were some 25 officers, chosen from the best in the fleet, all well educated and learned. And in such a company of educated men, together at table with them, sat a simple monk, a small man, wearing threadbare clothes, ill-educated. And he put to them questions which stumped them all, which they could not answer. Captain G. told me this himself: "We had no answers, we were like fools in front of him!" 

He put to them the question, 

"What do you love most and dearest of all? What would make you happy?"
Many wishes were expressed in answer to this: one wanted riches, another fame, another a beautiful wife, another a splendid ship to sail on, and many other things. 

Father Herman said, "Is it not true that of all your answers and desires one thing may be concluded: each of you gentlemen requires that which he thinks best and loves most?" 
They all answered that this was so. Then he said to them, 

"What could be better, higher, more worthy of love and more splendid than Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who created the firmament, and adorned everything, gave life to everything, Who keeps everything, feeds everything and loves everything -- Who is Himself love, more splendid than all men! Should you not love God above all things, wish for Him and seek Him?" 

They all answered, "Of course we love God; how can one not love God?" 

At this he sighed, let fall a tear, and said, 

"I, poor sinner, have been trying to learn how to love God for more than forty years, and I cannot say even now that I love Him properly." And he showed them how one should love God, "If we love someone, then we think of them always. We try to please them day and night, our heart and mind are full of the object of our love. So then, gentlemen, do you love God? Do you turn to Him often? Do you remember Him always, always pray and perform His will, His Holy Scriptures?" 

They had to admit that they did not.

"For our good, for our happiness," he said, "let us make a vow: at least from this day, from this hour, from this very minute, we should try to love God above all else and carry out His teachings."

 
-- Letter from Simeon Ianovskii (Yanovsky) to Igumen Damascene of Valaam, 22 November 1865

3 comments:

  1. This is so true - even though I have been "falling more and more in love with Jesus", ever since I started exploring Orthodoxy, I too cannot say that I truly love Him, as I should! This will undoubtedly be a continuous, life-long pursuit for all of us (who have Wanted to love Him more for so long!)

    Thank you for posting this!!
    gina

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