Daily Reflection May 5th, 2020
by Fr Stephen
MAY 5 Holy Greatmartyr Irene
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
Prayer consisting of words alone does not help if the heart does not participate in prayer. God hears only a fervent prayer. Once Abba Zoilus of the Thebaid was returning from Mount Sinai and met a monk who complained to him that they were suffering greatly from drought in the monastery. Zoilus said to him: “Why don’t you pray and implore God?” The monk replied: “We have prayed and have implored, but there is no rain.” To this Zoilus replied: “It is evident that you are not praying fervently. Do you want to be convinced that this is so?” Having said this, the elder raised his hands to heaven and prayed. Abundant rain fell to the earth. Seeing this, the astonished monk fell to the ground and bowed before the elder, but the elder, fearing the glory of men, quickly fled. The Lord Himself said: Ask and it shall be given you (Luke 11:9). But a mouth full of prayer is to no purpose if the heart is empty. God does not stand and listen to the mouth but to the heart. Let the heart be filled with prayer, even though the mouth might be silent. God will hear and will receive the prayer. For God only listens to a fervent prayer.
(St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prologue from Ochrid)
Fr John’s Reflection
For You love all the things that exist, and You detest nothing of the things You made; for You would not even make anything You hated. How could anything continue to exist unless You willed it? Or how could anything be preserved unless it was called into existence by You? You spare all things, because they are Yours, O Master who love human beings.
For Your immortal Spirit is in all things. For this reason You correct little by little those who fall away, and You remind and warn them of the sins they commit so they may be freed from evil and believe in You, O Lord. (Wisdom of Solomon 11:24-12:2)
Today’s selection is from my journey through the Old Testament and, specifically, the Wisdom of Solomon. The Wisdom of Solomon always strikes me with its great and immensely deep thoughts about the world, creation, and the relationship between the Creator and the created. It clearly points to the Son of God and the Trinity. Today’s passage is a good example of that. God is clearly seen throughout the Old Testament as the Source of all. But His servants throughout the OT are given revelations about the Son and the Spirit, who are never separated from the Father. In pondering existence above, this seemingly obvious statement is made: “You would not even make anything You hated.” Very simple lessons are given in the verses above:
• Creation exists because God loves.
• Everything that exists is good and loved by God.
• Nothing can exist unless God wills it.
• His love leads to His sparing His creation.
• His Spirit fills all things.
• His love and the Spirit corrects us little by little.
• Created life is warned by God to encourage a move away from evil.
• When (if?) we move away from evil, we move towards belief in Him.
“Wisdom” in the Old Testament oftentimes strikes me as simply common sense infused with the Spirit of God. Such is today’s lesson. But in its simplicity, let us find the eternal truths also. Nothing God makes is bad or evil. Darkness and evil are imposed on a good creation by us — not God. The Christian life is a constant yearning for and journey back to the Paradise where God saw that everything made was “good.” We (mankind) are created “very good.” His love for us is so great that when we turned away from Him and were exiled from paradise, He sent His Son to restore us. Such is the Resurrection that we continue to celebrate. Christ is Risen!
November 29, 2023
November 29, 2023
November 29, 2023