OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 18, 2014, 01:52:34 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Who is a true missionary? / Father Daniel Sysoev  (Read 2309 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« on: September 12, 2011, 07:41:47 AM »

Dear brothers and sisters, there’s a beautiful sermon given by the martyred father Daniel Sysoev. In my translation I’ll split it in four parts. Those of you who understand Russian I advise to listen to it as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyr_dZmCzqw

Part 1

I congratulate you all with our patron feast (Dedication Day), the day of the Lord God Holy Spirit. Our altar is dedicated to the Holy Spirit that all of us might be spiritual, spiritualized, living and live according to the commandments of Christ the Saviour.  But today we have a special day – we founded this year an orthodox missionary movement of the holy prophet Daniel. As you know our parish has a school for preparation of orthodox missionaries. Today is the class; today our missionaries receive blessing from the Holy Trinity for the preaching of the undamaged (undefiled) teaching of Christ the Saviour in the whole world. And it is not for nothing, the fact is that on the following day after the descention of the Holy Spirit the apostles had gathered together in the Zion chamber (it was exactly today, on the day of the Whit Monday, or rather the future Whit Monday (Fr.D.)) and allotted among themselves the whole, at that time known world. Afterwards they set forth to preach the Gospel in the whole Cosmos (i.e. world), until the ends of the world. Their work, the work of the apostles is still not completed. Just from the missionary activity depends the end of the world; because, as the Lord said: ‘And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’(Matthew 24: 14). And so in a certain sense today we prepare ´the angels of the apocalypse´, the messengers of the end; those people who will send the intact word of God and who will gather from under every fence, from every hole, from every island, from every little village those people who are destined by God for eternal life, who are seeking the Truth; and they must hear about Her by mouth of the missionaries and the preachers. Off course our missionaries need a especial help of God. Who is the true missionary? For you, missionaries, it is very important to hear; or may be not only for missionaries in case if someone wishes to acquire an extra crown of the apostle; by the way the crown of the apostle is even more (valuable) than the crown of the holy monk (prepodobny, osios), even more than the crown of enlightener (i.e. holy hierarch).  You can easily become equal-to-the-apostles, everyone who wants it, off course. For this (work) there are no restrictions in age, in sex… but there’s one restriction, only in the orthodox faith; if a man doesn’t keep the orthodox faith he cannot bring it to others, but in all other things the way is opened for all. So, who is the true missionary? A missionary first of all must be committed to the Lord Jesus Christ unto the death; like the apostle Paul, the true missionary and the model for all missionaries, says: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? For I am persuaded, that nether death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.’ (Romans 8: 35-39). The essence of the missionary work is that a man loves God and in Him loves all. He loves God and from the love of God he draws Lord’s pity, His mercifulness, and he cannot easily look  how other people sink into the abyss of evil, how other people depart from God into the chasm of perdition. A missionary cannot look relaxed at it. If a man looks relaxed at it, if he is not concerned that other people perish, he is not a missionary and not a Christian. A missionary, while keeping the holy, undefiled faith should keep in mind that he will never get the full knowledge of the faith, because the depths of our faith is suchlike that even the angels in the Heavens when they behold the Heart of our faith cover in awe their face with the fiery wings because they cannot gaze at the Heart of our faith; because the heart of our faith is not a theory but the life-giving and undivided Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And before the face of the Holy Trinity a missionary likewise covers his face in awe and says: ‘Until the end I will never know the faith. I know the Nicaean creed, I know the mystery of God, but I deepen myself therein deeper and deeper’.   A true missionary never stops with his heart to deepen himself into the mysteries of the Holy Scripture; that’s why we demand from the missionaries to recite every year, each year the holy, purest word of God, tracing with the fiery finger of the Holy Spirit it on their hearts. Because a missionary who doesn’t read the Holy Scripture is a contradict in adjecto. A missionary must be seethed with the divine fire of love, he must keep the holy commandments of God and keep himself clean from every defilement of the flesh and spirit, he must yearn for the sainthood. After all why are we missionaries? We are mercenary missionaries. By the way, a not mercenary missionary is the contradict in adjecto; a missionary needs the Kingdom, and not just the Kingdom, but he needs a throne in the Kingdom of God.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
J.M.C
Слава Богу за всё!
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 193



WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 01:14:12 PM »


Sorry for interrupting your flow of posts, but I want to thank you for your efforts in bringing Priest-martyr Daniil's sermons and writings to a wider audience (here and in the other thread).
Logged

IC XC
NI KA
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 04:30:48 AM »

Part 2

Because for the missionary are special, highest crowns are assigned in the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not by accident that in the Eucharistic canon (prayers before the holy communion) no reference is found even of the holy monks but there is a mention of missionaries. And in the Holy Scripture almost nothing is said about the monks but very much (is said) about the missionaries; because a missionary receives an unthinkable, enormous reward. As John Chrysostom used to say about the two greatest missionaries, Peter and Paul: ‘They are like two Heavenly mountains’, and he said that ‘the Rome itself shall collapse on the Day of Resurrection when the great mountains will arise from the earth, apostle Peter and Paul’, who with their relics rest in Rome like the greatest Heavenly mountains. And their reward is so great that you cannot look close at it. Like our contemporary holy Justin Popovich used to say that when he had looked at the apostle Paul he had seen that the apostle Paul is higher than the seraphim’s. He didn’t say it theoretically, he had an experience of personal encounters with the apostle Paul, and with the seraphim’s, and with Sergius of Radonezh, and with John Chrysostom; as it happens with every man who is on the borders of the worlds. And so the work of the missionary is to go on the borders of the worlds being undefiled from this world. The fact is that a missionary is between the three world’s; he himself is from the world of the men but he is the living letter of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is the living breath of the Holy Spirit. In him the Holy Spirit works, winnows, directs him into every truth and reminds him everything what the Saviour promised. You know it, we studied these words. ‘I will send you a Comforter, who will bring you unto mind all I spoke unto you’(paraphrase, John 15: 26). He said this to every Christian but first of all to him who brings the life-giving, holy word unto all nations of the world. That’s why a missionary, being the living letter of Christ, is the messenger of God on the earth, the messenger of the Heavenly King amidst the kingdom of the devil; he is a sheep among the wolfs, but a sheep on whose hide all the wolfs will break their teeth, all the more the top wolf – the devil. The missionary is he who snatches from the jaws of the devil his prey. The king David, when he was just a shepherd, when the lion steeled from him the sheep from (his) flock, he overtook the lion, snatched him on his mane, pulled out the sheep from (his) jaws and killed him. This is the image of the missionary, the missionary runs to the den of the devil. He goes to the mosque, to the sects, to the idol’s pagan temple, he goes to the gathering of the pagans and the theomachists and proclaims not his word but the undefiled word of the Lord Jesus Christ and in this way saves the people from the devil, snatches them from the power of darkness, he pulls them out from the realm of uncleanness and brings him into a marvellous light. Herein is the amazing work of a missionary. That’s why a missionary often knocks together with satan and his unclean powers; it’s natural. But a missionary being the letter of Christ is stronger that the devil, he is more powerful than the devil and the devil in terror flees from the true word which a missionary brings. Because our word is ‘not with enticing words of men’s wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of the power’ (1 Corinthians 2: 4), like the apostle Paul said. A missionary knows what the wonder is, because the wonder follows a missionary. The life itself of a missionary is in truth wonder. In him all the words of the Gospel are fulfilling and he sees how living is this word, how effective it is. A missionary being the messenger of the end doesn’t have here a city, he doesn’t have a homeland, he is a wanderer and a stranger here; but he is not a wanderer and a stranger for the saints, he is own for the saints and own for God; he is strengthened on the solid foundation of Christ, the headstone, and he stands on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets; he is indeed their inheritor and follower in the literal sense; he follows in their steps in order to receive their crown. And like the Lord said: ‘Whosoever receive My messenger because he is mine he shall not lose his reward. Even if someone shall give to a missionary a cup of cold water to drink he shall not lose his reward’(a paraphrase; Mark 9). Imagine how great is the reward of the preacher who preaches the word of God there where they don’t want to hear it.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 09:05:21 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX92wkSJ8xo&feature=related
Part 3

They talk here a lot about mission, but they call mission that which is not a mission. When you come to your people, when you come to Christians and tell them about Christ you are catechizers; you teach people that what they should know already. You just make up for the shortage of their spiritual formation. But if you go to those who don’t want to listen then you are missionaries; then you are the true warriors of Christ who have the weapon of Truth in two hands. Apostle Paul describes a missionary like some samurai with two swords; you know, there is the highest form of battle – the battle with two swords; so a missionary has two swords in his right and left hands, the sword of the word of God and the sword of Gods commandments; with which he fearlessly knocks into the thickness of the world in order to grasp from the paws of the devil more and more souls. He keeps in mind very well that that who has saved a man from his evil way had saved the soul from the dead and covered a multitude of sins. Yes, we have many sins, a missionary must not be afraid because he did at one time many sins; he must stop committing sins and must cover them by converting  unbelievers into Christianity, by converting the strangers unto Christ, by converting the ignorant to the Lord Almighty, by bringing the sectarians back, by announcing to the unbelieving, ignorant the life-giving word, by converting those who don’t know love to the Love, by converting those who don’t know the true happiness to the happiness, by reiving people away from depression into the trust in God, by snatching people away from the weakness to the power. In truth a missionary is the weapon of Christ. Like we have heard it yesterday in prayers, do you remember: ‘You bind in weakness, but lead out in strength’.  The Lord indeed binds the weak in order to strengthen them, and a missionary is His weapon herein, he is the sparkling sword of Jesus Christ, by means of which the Lord gathers His own people. And furthermore a missionary keeps in mind that his job is to announce the word of God in an undamaged form; it is not allowed to add or to take away something from the word; it is itself healing in its purest form; if you added an ad-lib to the word then it stops working, if you took away a word then your name is stroked away in the Heavens. Do you remember what is said about it? Who will add or append… what will be? Who shall add to the word unto him shall the Lord add the blows, the seven cups of anger which the Lord had promised; and who shall take something away from this word him shall the Lord strike away from the book of life and from the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelation 22: 18-19). A missionary is just a messenger of the undamaged (undefiled) Gospel and that’s why he doesn’t have the right to talk about something else than the Lord Jesus Christ. Our true missionary used to say thus: ‘For I determined not to know anything… save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’(1 Corinthians 2: 2). The true missionary used to say it. What was his name? Apostle Paul. It is the true sign of the missionary. A missionary always carries upon himself the sign of that life which he lives; the sign of the precious and life-giving cross. He is co-crucified with Christ and dead for the world; he has one body with Christ and he is the cross-bearer; because the cross is the sign of the victory over death and the sign of the redemption and the suffering; but the cross is in addition a sign of the end of the world. Do you remember it, yea? That when the end of the world shall come we will get to know it because on the sky the cross will flame up. A missionary hurries up the Kingdom of God; he hastens that the Kingdom might come sooner, that we may sooner gather to Christ, that at last we may sooner be resurrected in the flesh, isn’t it? Can a Christian long for something else? But a missionary brings it closer; he doesn’t just long, he doesn’t just pray (Thy Kingdom come), he tries to bring it closer not by means of evil but by means of love, so as to gather the people into Kingdom. Imagine how many friends has a missionary. He has friends on earth – all who are converted by him. Do you think they will forget him in eternity? What do you think? Not likely, isn’t it?! Imagine, how can a saved one by the throne of the Lord, the Judge, forget those who helped him in his salvation? He cannot; by no means, isn’t it?! A missionary has a multitude of friends in the Heavens; there are blessed spirits who are caring about a missionary. A missionary is the co-worker of the guardian angels of other people who (the angels) are crying bacause they, being baptized and having joined the sects,  are dead for God. He cooperates with the angels of the nations. Do you know, each nation has its own guardian angel. A missionary cooperates with the guardian angels of the nations who (the angels) are yearning that their fosterlings may come to Christ. He cooperates with the holy saints of God. But the most important thing is that he cooperates with our radiant Queen, with the Heavenly Queen, the most pure Mother of God.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 04:21:48 AM »

Part 4

There was a one occurrence. Once one Altaian man were fishing on the lake and suddenly he saw the ‘white Hostess of Altai’, who walked above the waters of the lake and said unto him: ‘What are you doing here? Now then get up, leave your nets and go into that village. There is Macáry, he will tell you all what you have to do. Is that clear?’ He got a fright and said: ‘Which Macary? I don’t know him’- ‘Get up and go!’, said the ‘Hostess of Altai.’ Then he comes to the village of Macary and asks: ‘Where is here abba Macary. I’ve got to learn that he is here.’ They say in reply: ‘Lo, there and there he preaches.’ He comes to Macary while he is sitting at the church-house and telling about Christ. Then he approaches and asks: ‘Where is Macary?’, they say: ‘There!’, but all of a sudden he runs to the right side (left side for those who enter the church) of the Royal Doors, not looking at Macary, and says: ‘Why is the Queen painted there? Why do you have the Hostess of Altai painted here?’ The white Hostess of Altai were painted next to those Royal Doors. She herself had called that Altaian man to the holy Macay Gluhoryov so that he might leave the paganism and come to Christ. There are a lot of these examples. But the most important is that a missionary is the servant of the ancient plan of the Trinity. Do you know when the missionary work was planned? There was no world but the Lord had planned the missionary work already. The fact is that God the Father decided to create the world for His Son that we might be the children of God, isn’t it?! But how can we be the children of God? Only through the Son of God the Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t it?! That’s why having conceived this, the Lord in the Holy Spirit decided to call unto Himself, into His Kingdom the people. He knew who will enter into the Kingdom of God, because they love the Truth; he knew form the beginning also those who don’t want to enter into the Kingdom of God; it’s not because Christ doesn’t want it, Christ wants the salvation for all, and the Heavenly Father wants the salvation for all; but he knew those who don’t seek the Truth. It was pleasing to God to send His messenger who will bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the ends of the world, in every specific moment. And we know that the work of the missionaries  is so special that it is not possible to build it up (schedule it), to predict it; a missionary lives literally in the hand of God the Father. God the Father turns it there where they need it, He brings to him people when needed. I know it from myself (my experience); it happens that you are getting late for the holy service or some meeting; and then you are starting to abuse yourself saying: ‘Oh, what’s going on? What a bad man that you are, father Daniel!’ And then bang! all of sudden you encounter a man. There was one incident: I was getting late for the service when by an accident I encountered a man who wanted to commit a suicide. Another time I saw a man whom they wanted to ‘catch away’ in the sect. Do you understand, the accident is another name for God’s Providence isn’t it?! And so all the missionaries live, they live in the hand of God. And God uses them as the weapons so as to make use of them for His great glory. Imagine what glory it is to be the co-worker of Christ; not just a child of God but the direct co-worker of the Holy Spirit; to become the Spirit-bearer and the messenger of the Kingdom with an incorrupt crown in holiness. Let us pray therefore, that the Holy Spirit might come not only upon our missionaries but upon all our parishioners who serve Lord the Almighty and yearn for the Divine love.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 05:11:18 AM »

This is a unique video movie of a missionary trip of father Daniel Sysoev and his community to "Sabantuy", a feast of many thousands of Tatars and Bashkirs, which took place in the equestrian complex "Bitza" on July 21, 2007. They set there up a missionary tent, where an icon of Tatar Saints, the converts from Islam, was placed on the lectern. They celebrated a prayer-service for the Tartar Saints, after which Fr. Daniel and the members of the community were distributing to the approaching people specially issued for this event Prayer-books in the Tatar language. Afterwards Fr. Daniel and the laymen with the prayer-books and missionary pamphlets went-around the whole territory of the complex, making conversations with people. In the tent too stayed the persons on duty, who talked with many of the approaching people. The Tatar community members were dressed in national costumes and talked in Russian and Tartar.
Then again a prayer-service, after which - the new outing into the thickness of  people. Many were baptized thereafter and became parishioners of Fr. Daniel.
The Gospel being read in two languages is from Mark 16.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u6v3Vlvv3E
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 04:25:19 AM »

And God uses them as the weapons so as to make use of them for His great glory.

A small remark: The word weapon means here instrument, tool.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Rufus
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: leet


Nafpliotis with sunglasses and a cigar.


« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 09:07:34 PM »

Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Logged
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2011, 08:49:25 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ7EbB6vBzY&feature=related
Please notice: the speech is mainly addressed to Orthodox Christians.

Father Daniel Sysoev (link). The lecture for the Orthodox missionaries.

Dear brothers and sisters, Father Daniel had delivered a nice speech concerning the missionary activity. He explained why is it so essential, what our attitude towards all other religions should be, why everybody has the full right to participate in the missionary activity, who is a true missionary / Christian etc. I’m sure this is not only interesting for the missionaries, but even for us as well.
The speech will be split in several parts likewise.
The quality of the audio record of the first minute of the movie is too bad. That’s why the only thing I can hear is the prayer to the Holy Spirit (O Heavenly King…) and some unimportant introduction.


First of all, what is a missionary work? When we talk about a missionary work, we understand some most strange ideas about the missionary work. It is thought that if a man has visited and danced at some good Orthodox ball, he’s made some missionary work. People think that if a man visited and drank  a cup of thee with his buddies and comrades, he is a missionary likewise. But this is, off course, not a mission in the truest sense of the word, and in indirect sense this is similarly not a mission. The word mission is the annunciation of the undamaged holy Gospel to those people who are outside of the Orthodox Church, and only there (outside). Because if we talk with people who are baptized, but are unchurched, who consider themselves Orthodox, then this is not a mission yet, this is catechesis. This is completely another word, this is completely another work, for this end there is a completely another reward, which off course exists, but this is something else than a mission. A missionary is he who addresses to them that are outside of the Church. When we say this, we should understand what the area outside the Church is? What are those people occupied with? Why should we do this? The most important thing that we should understand is that on Earth live two types of rational beings. Do you know them, the two types of the rational beings? There is homo sapiens, and there is homo christianus. These are two types of the living beings that differ from each other, like the living differ from the dead. The living Christians differ from the dead ordinary people. They are dead because, like apostle Paul said: ‘And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ’ (Ephesians 2: 1-5). And so, when a missionary goes to preach, where does he go? He goes to that place which in the Acts of the Apostles is called the realm of satan, the place of darkness, the place of casting away, where the children of the wrath of God live, who live under the power of satan, and as the Scripture says, ‘are in the shadow of death’, the people who are enslaved and captured by the devil’s power. That’s why a missionary goes to a completely another world, he goes to a world that lives according to completely another laws, i.e. the laws of Christians and the laws of the ordinary human world are totally different laws. Moreover, when a man comes in this world he faces another reality. As a matter of fact, when we do a missionary work, we are found at the borders between the three worlds. We are found in the world of diverse men, of the two types of men, let’s say; we are found at the border of Heaven, directly (at the border of Heaven), because we are the direct messengers of Christ, like the apostle Paul says, we are ‘the epistles of Christ’, we announce the undamaged message of the Revelation, to the people who don’t know the Truth, who don’t know the salvation; and at last, we enter into the direct battle with the Lucifer. Because as you know the devil absolutely doesn’t like when the missionaries snatch the prey from his jaws. It’s very important to understand, because now, due to the development of different pseudo-ecclesiastical, - or to say it more exactly, - utterly not ecclesiastical, but demonical teachings, like humanism, people has come to a strange conclusion that ‘all can be saved, it doesn’t matter if you are Christian or not Christian. If only you are a good person, then right into paradise!’ These apprehensions directly contradict with the Holy Scripture, with the teaching of the Ecumenical (Orthodox) Church, moreover they contradict with the good sense observed by the experience. Because in reality no person on Earth, who lives outside of the Church, who lives in other religious traditions, never expect to receive that salvation which expect to receive Christians. Moreover, when you will have to talk with a Muslim, for example, the message of what a Christian can receive is for him some scandalous message. I remember that I talked once with a certain Turk in Kemer, and he said thus: ‘Oh…,  most of all I would dream to see God face to face. But I know it is impossible, because when Mohammed wanted to look at Allah, Allah said: ‘Look at that mountain.’ Mohammed turned and saw that the mountain disappeared, Allah said: ‘If I would look at anything, then it will immediately disappear’. That’s why I know that it’s impossible to see God face to face.’ But what is our main hope? Our main hope is that we escape form the sin, the curse and from the death; that we receive the remission of sins, that we inherit the everlasting life, that we become the children of God and that we face to face encounter our Heavenly Father. Like the Lord says: ‘Blessed are pure in heart: for they shall see God’ (Matthew 5).
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:02:27 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 07:42:09 AM »

Part 2

And this hope of the Christians, the main hope of Christian for salvation, - in the sense of the communion with God, deification, the everlasting life in the resurrected body before the face of God, - this message is unknown to all other people. That’s why when Christians say that outside of the Church is no salvation, they say that thing with which the representatives of all the religions agree in fact. It’s interesting that in none of the pre-Christian religious traditions of mankind was a hope for the better end of life at all. There were more or less sorrowful ends, or a little bit better ends; but the good end, the encounter with the Creator had been never and by no one promised. That’s because it is true. The same thing happens now; the people now, who did not accept the baptism... what happens to them in reality after death? In reality they go to hades. And there is no other way for them. You can think out all the sorts of theories, but Christ doesn’t wait for them in the hades; He descended into the hades in a one concrete moment; on the Great Saturday He descended into the hades before the Pascha (Easter). He delivered those people who sought for Him in their lives. And those people now who didn’t want to come to Christ are perishing forever. Do you understand now that the missionary work is a direct consequence of the pity. You understand it, don’t you? Imagine, how can you live peacefully while your loved ones, your kinsmen,  your acquaintances, your co-brothers by Adam and Eve in huge masses descend forever into the valley of the shadow of death? If you think about it, would it matter if their religion is a traditional one or not traditional? (With traditional religions in Russia they call today the religions of the native peoples of Russia, like Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and few others; not those religions that are relatively new for the Russian history.). Would it matter?! It would absolutely not matter, would it?! For example, if a man had in a traditional way hanged himself up or in a not traditional way tripped a grenade, does it matter?! It’s all the same – he had died. It’s all the same when he goes to hell: It does not matter if he goes to the hell because he holds to Islam or because he holds to some sect, like Jehovah’s Witnesses. The most important thing is that he perishes. This is the most frightful thing that can happen with a man. Just because we have pity, have an incredible pity on these people, we try to save them. But we can save them only when we know a very important thing: We are… Who we are? We are chosen ones. By whom? By God. We are the ‘chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people’ (1 Peter 2: 9), we are the people called out into the marvellous light of God. Just we, do you understand? Unto us is given the fullness of truth. We know the absolute truth. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5: 19). You know this quote, don’t you?! The apostle John says about it. Exactly that’s why we are triumphalists. We are always not ashamed to remind everyone that we have the absolute truth. But notice: it is not thanks to our merit. We have not achieved it, right?! We are gifted with it. And we want to share this gift with others. We want that the people who are in darkness would find the Light, that the people who are in misbeliefs would find Truth. That’s why we are wittingly in an unequal position with those to whom we go to preach. We are the messengers of God, we are the chosen ones of God who call every other into this election so that they too might become the same even as we are. That’s why a missionary doesn’t have the right to conduct any equal dialogue. He doesn’t have the right to say: ‘You have the right for your opinion, we have the right for our opinion.’ Because a missionary doesn’t have the right to have his own opinion at all, do you know this? Do you know, there is a one organization in the world which for every problem doesn’t have the right for its own opinion. Have you never heard about this organization? It is called the Orthodox Church. In every and each case it doesn’t have any own view point. It gets along with the view point of the Lord God. And this is enough. It should be the same with us. We mustn’t have our own view points, we must get along with the view point of the Lord God. It would be enough for us, right? Like Maximus the Confessor used to say: ‘I and God are (form) a majority’, and besides an overwhelming majority. Why do I emphasize this? Because when people try to start preaching, they start to say in this way: ‘Let us build equal relationships with the representatives of other religions, let us respect their views.’ But this is possible provided a man doesn’t know what happens to him. Imagine, would you respect a junkie who thinks he has the right for a heroin? Would you respect his opinion?! No. In the same way the false religions are even worse than a heroin in fact. It is that thing which destroys a man in a direct, real sense of the word. And so a normal Christian, Christ’s  love demands a ruthless intolerance toward the false opinions, an intolerance which goes together with a ruthless (toward oneself) love toward the perishing people.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 07:47:34 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 07:30:20 AM »

Part 3

I.e. it is not allowed (i.e. right) to spare oneself for the service of the perishing, right? But hereby it is not allowed to spare the false opinions of another man, just because they destroy their own soul. What is the principle of a missionary? Always respect a man, never respect his convictions. Do you understand? You know it for yourselves where these expression results from. From the classic scheme: Divide the sin from the sinner. We love a fornicator, but hate the fornication. We love a drunkard, but hate the drunkenness. The same is here: we love a heretic, but hate the heresy; we love a pagan, but hate the paganism; we love a Muslim, but hate the Islam. This borderline must be very exact. And we should always pronounce this for ourselves. Because a huge trouble today is that the people don’t pronounce these things. That’s why people are not able for any good work. When a man sees himself to be just some informant, then off course nothing will come out of his work. A missionary is a missionary because he brings a mission. He is an instrument of salvation which the Holy Trinity makes through him. Moreover, I would say that if you would wish to become missionaries, you would enter into a very old plan. Do you know when the mission was planned? There was no world then, can you imagine? Before the beginning of the world God the Father decided to create the world as a gift for His Son, because ‘all things were created by him, and for him’(Colossians 1: 16), as is said in the Scriptures. And He (God the Father) wished that the Son of God would be the firstborn among the many brethren (Romans 8: 29). And we, the people, become the servants of the work of God the Father by bringing new the brethren for His Son. Do you understand how old this plan is? Our task is to go through  this world and find those people for whom the Truth is more important that they are. Clear? And so if we find them, we make them the children of God; not because we have the power for this, but with that unbelievable weapon that we have got, with the most awesome weapon in the Universe, which is called the Word of God. Undamaged, the most shining Word of God is the greatest weapon which is even more powerful than a nuclear bomb. It blows up the whole power of the devil and it must be passed on in a maximally pure form. That’s why a missionary is obliged to speak with authority, but only with God’s authority. That’s why a missionary has the inner limitations: a missionary is limited in his speech. A missionary must say like this: ‘I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2). This is the topmost condition: a missionary has not the right to talk about anything else than the Holy Gospel. A missionary has not the right to be a messenger of a national culture, tradition, cosmopolitanism, patriotism, liberalism, social values… All these things are absolutely external for him. A missionary must be, like this world says, a ‘narrow-minded bigot’, but in reality a broad-minded wiseman. He must only say the Word of God, unmingled, pure… He must say so: ‘God has said so, deign to perform! I’ve warned you.’ Only then this incredible power will work through him. It’s interesting that when a man only in this way starts to preach, then his life begins to change. After all, what did apostle Jacob say? He said ‘that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins’(James 5:20). (the following phrase he says jokingly) I think that for the majority of you all this is not important, you are all righteous and don’t have any need to cover the sins, right? Otherwise, if somebody has some sins on their soul, if someone is occasionally in a need of salvation, then here is an excellent and quick method to cover the multitude of sins. Do you know it? For this purpose exists a mission. The participation in this apostolic work is off course necessary. Or rather not necessary, but gives the opportunity to reach to the inconceivable heights, the heights of holiness. From such a realization of a missionary work follows a very important thing: a missionary work cannot be cultorological. Do you understand why? If I bring the culture of the Russian nation, then I am not a messenger of Jesus Christ, but am a messenger of the Russian nation. If I say that ‘you should come back to your roots’ (i.e. ancestral roots; beloved phrase of Russian patriots / nationalists), then I am the messenger of the earth; after all, where are the roots? In the earth. Actually we should come back not to our roots, but to the Heavenly Father. Do you feel the difference? ‘Own roots’ is an abstract concept, but the Heavenly Father is a person. And a missionary must call to a personal contact with a personal God; that is much higher than a culture, tradition, aesthetics and all the rest. That’s why a missionary must keep in mind that everything he does, he does before God, for God, for the salvation of the soul.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2011, 05:11:12 AM »

Part 3

Because when at least some element of inaccuracy would appear, a missionary will be very strongly corrected. I think every preacher noticed that when you think: ‘Well, I’m a good man’, a failure happens.
The new question that appears now is: When someone may do a missionary work, according to the Holy Scripture? What do you think? From which moment one may do a missionary work? (Someone from the audience says: When you have got abundance of love. The answer is:) No, I mean from which moment in the ecclesiastical life he has the right to do this, do you know? In the Holy Scripture is a one catechumen described who was an excellent missionary – Apollos. He was a catechumen instructed in the way of the Lord (Acts 18: 25). Being a catechumen he taught about the Lord even not knowing the teaching thoroughly, knowing only the baptism of John. They corrected him, but forbade him not to do the missionary work. I wanted to say this because many people say: ‘First you should  spiritually grow up, perfect yourself, reach to the heights of holiness; and then, when you will be worthy, you can start a missionary work.’ Do you understand what it means? It means that a man will never start the missionary work at all, because until the moment that he reaches the heights of holiness… Firstly, I don’t know how can he reach the heights of holiness not having pity for other people; secondly, he will forget how he himself did come to Christ. That’s why I think that if a man feels a calling in his heart to announce the Gospel of the Kingdom, he must do it right away. He must do it immediately when God calls him, and not later. It is not right to wait. Actually when they say: ‘You are not worthy!’ You should answer: ‘Yes, off course I am not worthy.’ How can you be worthy to be an instrument of God? It’s absurd, isn’t it? How can you be worthy to be an anointed one of the Holy Spirit and a messenger of Jesus Christ? Never. How can you be worthy to be the mouth of God the Father? You can’t be worthy. You are a sinner, a man of unclean lips, dwelling in the midst of a people of unclean lips, and your eyes see the Lord (Isaiah 6); how is it possible? Yes,you are not worthy, but you are called! Likewise you should say: ‘I am not worthy, but I go, because God called me, because I have pity on the perishing.’ This is that way which allows you to work. ‘I am not worthy, I have not deserved, but I feel pity for the people. I want to be with Christ’. But there is yet one another motivation. I talked about one motivation – the forgiveness of sins; but there is yet one another moment. Probably all who are present here cannot receive hundredfold fruit (reward) in the Kingdom of Heaven, right? Are all of you virgins here, who preserved after the baptism the precious virginity for the Kingdom of God? It (virginity) would be hundredfold fruit. Do you remember? Thirtyfold fruit relates to the married, sixtyfold fruit relates to the pious widows, and hundredfold fruit relates to the virgins (parable of the sower; Matthew 13). This is generally the traditional interpretation of the Church Fathers. But, as Ambrose of Mediolanum says: ‘Don’t think that God gives only one reward. No, God summarizes the rewards. And you can receive even more reward in the Kingdom of Heaven.’ Imagine, which reward will have get a missionary: for example, he is married and leads a devotional life – thirtyfold reward, plus: he converts many people unto Christ – a hundredfold reward more; so it is hundred thirty now – more than a monk has. If he besides performs the deeds of charity, his reward will increase. Can you imagine it? Unfortunately we have inured ourselves to some false premise: we think somehow that Christianity teaches us self-forgetfulness. Where did we get this idea? Like a one acquainted businessman of mine used to say: ‘Our big problem is that we don’t relate towards the Gospel in the way it is written’. The Gospel is written, as he said, as a ‘good commercial project’. Why is it not right to lay up the treasures upon the earth, do you remember? Is that because the treasure is bad? It is not said so. Is it not allowed to lay them up at all? No, it would be irrational; it is because the thieves steal, the rust destroys and the moth eats up (Matthew 6: 19). What follows from this? That we should nevertheless gather the treasures. But where? There where the storage conditions are normal and the interest is high – in the Heavens. Is that clear? This is a normal, good approach of a normal Christian. A normal Christian would say: ‘It is not enough for me. Why should I be only a good family man? That’s great, but that’s not enough. I want even more reward.’ ‘Skráyushku, da v ráyushku’ (a Russian pseudo-Christian saying which expresses a desire of entering into paradise, no matter how insignificant reward would be there for him. I find it impossible to translate) is a not a Christian saying. A Christian will never come to a stand by things achieved, but rather would say: ‘I want even more!’, like the apostle Paul says: ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before ‘(Philippians 3: 12-13).  
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 05:16:04 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 05:14:23 AM »

Part 5

This is exactly the missionary approach. A missionary says: ‘well, I converted two countries’, for example, ‘but why only two countries? I need to convert more! I need to bring to Christ more and more people.’; he says: ‘I will present before the face of God the Father new children, in whom I will be justified, in whom I will receive the reward.’ This is great, isn’t it?! In fact they had put in our heads some absolutely false thing, the Soviet school had put in our heads that a Christian must look like a beam-under-the-fence, that he must never long for anything, never wish anything, never yearn for anything, he must relate to himself as a fool and an idiot, and thus quiet down. This is not Christianity, this is stoicism. Christianity requires to get as much as possible, but from God. For example: Is it right to seek after glory? Of course it is right. Is there any normal man who doesn’t want glory? But why do we need temporary glory? The glory must be everlasting. It’s logical, isn’t it? And who can give the everlasting glory? Only eternal God, isn’t it so?! And how this glory does  express itself? The Lord says: ‘them that honor me I will honor’(1 Samuel 2: 30). And how can you best glorify God? It’s better not to glorify God individually; convert a hundred people, for example, and together with them glorify God. And how many times will the reward be? Hundredfold times will the reward be. Imagine how luxuriously it is. You will thus get more glory, you will save the people (because you will be used as an instrument of salvation), and in the Heavenly Kingdom you will be by far not the last one. You will have a very high takeoff from the very beginning; when you will leave this world, you will get directly in the Heavens.
There is yet one absolutely mercenary question. Imagine, you have converted a hundred people, then you died. And this hundred neophytes began to pray to God for you. What do you think, will the demons dare to approach you? (shakes his head) Imagine in which veil of prayers will you be shrouded. Can you imagine? These prayers simply will carry you into the Heavens. That’s why it is said ‘that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death’(James 5: 20). You understand why it is said so, don’t you? He (a missionary) saves the other one and his own soul revives in the direct sense of this word. There is still one moment: When a man is occupied with the Orthodox mission, fights with the devil, then he becomes stronger and stronger. Let’s give a very simple illustration: Who knows the teaching of the Church better: A missionary or an ordinary man? Obviously a missionary, because he has always to work in it. Moreover,  the life of a missionary is not very comfortable. Do you know why? Imagine, you take a fancy to transgress one of God’s commandments. You are just about to do it, but then zap! You have to go preach! And at this moment God will surely palm you off the situation wherein you will have to preach exactly that commandment which you were about to transgress. Do you know how unpleasant it is?! Very unpleasant. You have noticed it already, don’t you? In general, many people don’t read the Gospel because it often says appropriate things in appropriate time. You have noticed it, don’t you?! That when you want to do something dirty, then bang! it tells you this straight away. That’s why many people keep it rather far off  on the shelves, lest it be seen by the eyes, lest it dispose you, lest it give you a dig. In this sense it is difficult for a missionary. On the other hand if a missionary wants to do some good deed, if he wants to collect the virtues, even if he doesn’t have the talents and doesn’t know how to do this particular good deed, then God will surely send him that one person who will surely give him a lesson. Do you understand? It happens always. The Lord makes that through the converted people He will teache you, elevate you higher, i.e. he will thus sharpen you, you will ascend thus higher and higher. But there is an indispensable condition: of course a missionary should pray. The mission teaches him that likewise. Because if a man doesn’t pray, he begins to despond because nothing comes out. You understand why, don’t you?! If a man tries to be the mouth of God the Father, but thereby doesn’t turn to God the Father, then nothing comes out of it. It’s not possible to play with it. You suspect why, don’t you?! That’s why a missionary work forces people to pray.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 10:51:51 AM »

Part 6

Particularly it forces you to pray when you get into an extreme situation. A missionary is always in an extreme situation because he is between the (three) worlds. That’s why his life is extremely rich, extremely bright. A missionary gets used to rely on the Lord God. You understand why, don’t you?! Because as soon as you distanced yourself form God, the enemy (the devil) immediately strikes you down. Because he is near, he sees you as his topmost enemy. A missionary is a commando in fact, a truly commando of the Holy Trinity is the missionary. It’s absolutely so. So , that’s why a man gets used to live in the complete trust in God. Often people say: ‘How can we truly believe?’ It’s very simple:

•   Recognize the Nicene Creed,
•   recognize that Jesus is our Lord,
•   enter the Holy Church,
•   accept the holy Baptism,
•   holy Eucharist,
•   live by the Blood and Body of the Lord,
•   pray,
•   and begin to bring the Word of God to another person.

And when you start to pass this Word on, you (would) notice that you begin to have more trust (in God). Why? Because you (would) experimentally understand that God helps you, supports you. Do you understand? Not for nothing one writer said that if you want to see wonders, you have to be either a martyr, or a missionary. Because indeed the direct hand of God works there where a man is found on the forefront, moves ahead of all, goes to the attack against the powers of darkness. That’s why a prayer goes together with a missionary, the Word of God goes together with a missionary likewise, he must ‘swim’ in the Word of God. Like the holy Seraphim of Sarov used to say: ‘Your mind should swim in the Holy Scripture’. And a missionary work will force to do this. You know how? Very simple: A dispute begins wherein you fail shamefully because you forgot a (certain) quote… (by the way) I think our missionaries know these moments, don’t you?!  laugh I remember we travelled last year to Kirgizia. And when we had been there, a very humorous moment occurred: We go out for the first mission; I say: ‘So, let’s plot out. There are several sects, full speed ahead there!’ They (companions of fr. Daniel) say: ‘Ah… We know everything, we are so educated, we don’t need anything!’ (a paraphrase, most probably) Then afterwards they come back in the evening, being as red as the crawfishes; then they set to delve in the books, saying: ‘Where? Where  is it…?’ This is very experimental: When they (opponents in a dispute) say: ‘Here it is written’, your reaction is: ‘Where it is written… oh… ah…’ (fr. Daniel expresses these last sentences basically in motions, with much humour; so I had to add some words to make it clear) That’s it! Immediately you set to seek the Word of God (suitable verse). He (an unprepared missionary) understands (now) that his supposedly excellent knowledge of the Word of God turned out to be completely not excellent. Do you understand it, don’t you?! And now a man begins really to understand that he knows the Word of God not enough, that he should learn it more. So, in this instance either you want it or not you will be enforced to learn the Word of God. And when you learn it, you will never be insured that the Word of God will not say to you personally that thing which you really don’t want to hear. You know it probably, we’ve talked about it already. That is: the Word of God begins itself to change you; the Word of God begins to rebooze you from inside. That’s why a missionary work is a way to the holiness, to which we are all called. You know, when I baptize someone, or baptize a someone’s child, I ask: ‘Are you ready now to swear on the Bible and the Cross that you will try to be holy (live like a Saint)? If you don’t agree, then whenever you will agree then you will be baptized. Here, in our church, thank God, they don’t take the payment for the baptism. Whatever you can give, that will be accepted. If you don’t agree to be saint, I’m sorry, you have nothing to do in the church’. Because ‘the holy things’ for whom are? ‘The holy things for the holy’. Do you remember: the priest proclaims it during the Eucharist?! I.e. all of us are obliged to be holy. It’s not ‘preferably’, or ‘would be nice’; no, there is a direct commandment of God. Do you know how does it sound? ‘Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy’ (Leviticus 19: 2). The Lord didn’t give to a Christian the right not to be holy. That’s why a missionary work is a usable, good way to the holiness, which corrects you by itself. Here is it very important not to make one mistake: Sometimes a missionary thinks ‘In order to become a good missionary what do I need to do? I have to sharpen the intellect so far… I have to give those most chic arguments that would immediately astound everybody.’ I know it from myself that when you start such wonderful arguments, you think: ‘He will have to fall down on his knees, tear his frock to pieces, sprinkle ashes upon his head.’; but he says instead: ‘You are fool yourself!’  laugh that’s all; you sit like a fool, the arguments are good, but he says: ‘I don’t want! I’m against!’ It’s doesn’t work (so). Where have a missionary to get in? A missionary works on the utmost depths of a human spirit. Do you understand? That Word which we bring reaches the utmost depths of the heart itself. ‘For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart’ (Hebrew 4: 12).

P.S. Brothers and sisters, I’m not a native speaker; so don’t hesitate to correct my use of English if there are any linguistic mistakes. Do it either by means of a personal message or publicly.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 11:03:01 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2011, 01:55:00 PM »

Part 7

So, if a man tries to say his own word instead of the Word of God, - it may be a very good word, a very smart one, a logical one, - it will stay only at the level of the head. The head may agree, but the heart might say: ‘I don’t want.’ What would you do then? For sure you had faced this phenomenon: When you have unscrambled everything, but the reaction is: ‘I understand everything, but won’t do it because don’t want.’ Then you would sit down and think why have you tried for nothing. And afterwards you would understand what the problem was: You trusted in yourself. And herewith appears something what St Gregory Palamas talked about: ‘Every word competes with a word, but who can disprove life?’ Nobody. So here you begin to realize that the goal is to sow the Word of God, pure, holy, in an unchanged form, having put your faith in the power of the Word of God itself. I remember one accident in my life: One Chechen Wahhabi came to me. He came to disprove Christian faith and said that I’m ‘damned polytheist’… etc. I have explained him everything and we agreed that we would logically examine who God is and other related things. First I thought I would convert him. But nothing like that! Afterwards we just kept getting together and examine everything. At that moment I thought ‘okay, may be he will learn at least something about Christianity.’ But suddenly he said:

‘Father Daniel, why don’t you suggest me to be baptized?’
  Shocked  ‘You know… You don’t express desire…’
‘I desire it long time already,’ – he replied.

That’s all. These things take place in a mysterious way. And God explicitly makes that you would never (have a reason to) boast. For example I’ve never converted anyone in my life, never. I’ve seen a multitude of conversions, but I’ve never converted anyone. Do you understand what the point is? When I tried - nothing came out of it, when the Word of God was spoken - it changed the man itself. God explicitly made it thus, - knowing my boastful nature, which I know too, - so I could never ever boast. Like the apostle Paul says: ‘But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us’(2 Corinthians: 4: 7). It is so indeed. God indeed makes it thus, so you can never boast: ‘I’ve made it!’ God makes it through you, but in such a manner that you would never become haughty. Because the most terrible mistake for a missionary is the arrogance. Although it is a sickness of all Christians in general. That’s why some say: ‘Don’t do the missionary work because you will fall into arrogance’. I can say in the way St John of the Ladder did: The arrogance and vainglory is such a thing that ‘no matter how you throw it up, the wedge will always be upward’ (a Russian saying). When I fast - I vainglory, when I stop fasting - I vainglory. Do you remember?! I pray – I vainglory, I don’t pray – I vainglory likewise. I can say that you can in an easeful way vainglory because you don’t do a missionary work. It’s very easy. You know how? Very simple: ‘There are those missionaries, fools, that act badly, not like me…’, and then a direct quote:  Grin ‘God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, or even as this missionary’ (Luke 18: 11).  laugh
The vainglory, the pride is broken off only by God. It is broken off only when you minister to God Himself. Only then all of it breaks off. There’s no better method to get rid of the vainglory than to fail a couple of times in a dispute.  Cheesy It’s so shameful, you go like a whipped now, whereas you thought just before: ‘I will win all of them now’; but you’ve won nobody, you fell yourself into the puddle, and complain to God: ‘O God, can it be true that You don’t have a pity on so many people who will perish?’ Then God would say to you directly, He would say de facto: ‘Of course I have pity on them; but I have pity on you alike. And I won’t you let perish!’ Like one, a very good and experienced, acquainted priest-confessor of mine used to say: ‘It is not so easy for a Christian to perish. God won’t let him easily perish. Because he is His child, He will by all means pull him into salvation, only not violating his free will.’ All the more it is referred to someone that efforts to minister to God.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 02:01:36 PM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2011, 10:27:23 AM »

Part 8

But once a man rebels against God, saying, - ‘Anyway, I want it in my own way!’- this would be the greatest mischief of a missionary. If he would say, - ‘I want it in my way, not in God’s way. Yes, I succeeded, but I made myself, with my own strength,’ – then the same thing would happen as with the king Nebuchadnezzar, who said: ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?’ (Daniel 4: 30). Do you remember how all of it ended for him? He lived like an animal during the seven times before he reached to the conclusion about who ruleth over the nations (Daniel 4). So it happens with a missionary. However it happens not only with the missionaries, it is a pan-Christian temptation: When I say ‘I myself!’- I will wear myself out (i.e. fail in doing work), in the direct sense of that word. But in this sense it is more difficult for a missionary to wear himself out. If he want to wear himself out, he must very much desire it. Because a missionary, - being adjacent to the Lord God, - is under His special care. God cleanses a missionary, polishes him…
I think you know it, they that were occupied with the mission have noticed it – it’s not possible for a missionary to live casual (i.e. like the ordinary people do). Like the apostle Paul said: ‘In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren’(2 Corinthians 11: 26). All of it is meant for the salvation of his own soul - in order to sharpen his bigheartedness, love and really to make him a great righteous man and a saint. Do you see now – a mission is a work for the salvation of the soul. For some reason they (people) separate two things here, saying ‘one thing is the salvation of the soul, another thing is the mission.’ This is not true (because) – these things are inseparable. And the mission is given (exists) exactly for the salvation of the soul. This is an instrument for the salvation of the soul, and one of the greatest instruments because it is said about the missionaries that they shall be called the children of God: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5: 9). After all, who is a missionary? He is the peacemaker. He reconciles God with men, right? He reconciles the sinners with the Creator, he brings the satan down. That’s why a missionary has an enormous reward in the Heavens, let alone that he will receive the reward according to the 9th blessing: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven’ (Matthew 5: 11-12). Or if translating literally from the Greek original script, it is written in this way: ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall persecute you, and miscall you, and drive you out, for my name’s sake. When it happens with you, begin to rejoice and dance for joy: for great is your reward in heaven. For so did their fathers treat the true prophets’ (a paraphrase). It’s indeed a great reward, and this reward is perceptible here (in this life). If you brought the Word of God and someone chose to go against God and insulted you, you won’t feel offence, I dare to assure you. There’s a difference: When they insulted you because you behaved like a pig, it is indeed offensive, to be honest; but when they insult you for God’s sake, it is not offensive actually; not offensive, but joyful because the breath of eternity is perceptible for those people who tasted it. It’s a real taste of the Kingdom which one can  taste. It’s a real taste of Heaven which is given to those who insulted you (probably fr. Daniel made a slip in speaking here; probably he had this on his mind: It’s a real taste of Heaven which is given to them who were insulted). Moreover, it’s necessary to avoid one thing here: It is necessary to avoid the danger of an attempt to brand with shame that one who insulted you (i.e. by using strong arguments). Don’t do this, commend him unto God; and very possibly he will come to you and say: ‘I’m sorry, I insulted you so much then, but you so (affectively) touched me (i.e. by means of some words / arguments) that I could not sleep whole nights long, untill I went to be baptised’. These experiences are actually well-known. These are real things. As a result it will come out that you were insulted (actually) by the Lucifer. I think there is no greater honour than to be insulted by the devil. If the devil sees you as his own enemy… it is a very high valuation, isn’t it? To put this in crude terms: If someone wishes to compete on a boxing ring, it is not likely that a world champion would agree to compete with him; he would say: ‘It’s not my level!’ But when they call you out to compete with the world-champion, then you are a candidate champion yourself, aren’t you? If the devil personally is offended by you… What does it mean, can you guess? That God has put you at an enormous height (enormously high level). But remember that God put you so high not because you deserved it, but because God willed it so, so that nobody can say: ‘I have deserved, I can…’ etc. It’s a very important principle which we have to keep in mind.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 10:37:48 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2011, 05:18:48 AM »

Part 9

So… what more? Some say: ‘What is higher – the mission or the charity? What is higher – to help the sick or to do the missionary work? Actually you cannot separate one from the other. If you will become a missionary, you will also help the unfortunate at the same time. Like the holy Macary (Gluhoryov) of Altai used to say: ‘For the native peoples I am the lowest servant here’, and holy Herman of Alaska said: ‘For all these peoples I am the nanny here.’ So it comes about – when you start preaching, you will be enforced to help a man, and your heart will soften (in this way). By the way, the heart is more softened by the mission, than by the works of charity. Why? The fact is that a missionary is enforced to enter into personal contact with a man. You can help a man externally, not touching him with (your) soul, you know it yourselves, you can isolate yourselves (in this way). You can overbear squeamishness, set some inner flap on in order not to sense some stink, not to sense shamefulness etc. You can’t do it in a mission. If you would just bring some (mental) template (just bring some idea about Christianity) to another man – he would turn around and not listen till the end. You will have to enter into the personal relationship here. And in these personal relationships you will be able to bespeak to the core of the man itself, to that same spark of God’s image, which is imprinted in the heart of every man. In fact it is a very beautiful scene. You would have seen how beautiful a man can be, when he begins to turn towards the Truth, exactly this moment is the most beautiful one. What is the greatest joy for a missionary, after the joy of the communion with God? To see a man starting to wake up. You have probably noticed it, don’t you? Probably all the priests (here) know it; i.e. this experience, when a man was like a wood from the neck up, and suddenly <<zap>> - his interest lights up, the lively interest, the heart wakes up. It is a marvellous inner beauty. The marvellous, unthinkable beauty of the spirit, which in fact compensates all these difficulties. Indeed, it is a marvellous beauty and joy which God gives;  angel to descry a lively image of Christ in a man, a lively reflexion of Christ. I remember one incident: I talk with one man. You know,  laugh (it’s) such a ‘noble man’, bald-headed, in a nice folklore light-magenta coat, with a gold chain (it’s a ‘normal phenomenon’, you know what I mean) (it’s about rich Russian businessmen. The ordinary people refer to them with some disdain because probably most of them make money in an unfair way sometimes. They are referred to as ‘New-Russians’). It seems that the (way of) speech of (that) man… well, I think it’s not necessary to paraphrase his (way of) speech (ab… up… iup… up…  laugh ).  (But) Suddenly,  when you talk with him about God, about salvation, - his (way of) speech becomes more smooth, and the eyes revive. Not the currency rate fixators, but a lively interest, a lively soul, it gets him more interesting – the soul is waken up. Do you understand - it’s the most amazing moment. And besides,  it (the soul) awakens in that same moment when you don’t expect this. Because it wasn’t you who did it – God did it. In this sense (women should know this) this moment is a cry of a new-born baby. It’s an wonderful moment of the first cry, when the baby is being born. And this birth for the eternity is such a moment which take place before your eyes, you are somehow present at that moment, but (at the same time) you understand that it wasn’t you who did it, and you feel that close by Someone else is working. And you see the work of the Lord God which take place on your eyes. You just can’t imagine how marvellously magnificent this scene is.  This scene is far more exalted that every picturesque (artistic) creation. The (holy) icon is a beautiful thing, but when you see the living icon that flourishes – this is a real beauty; when you see a man wakening up. Indeed ‘there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth’(Luke 15: 10), indeed this man lives and walks under the complete protection of God; he is protected by the Creator and the Lord watches him, looks after him lest he fall into evil.
So, the last thing that I wanted to say about the missionary work is - which reward will be in the Kingdom. I’ve said already that a missionary – is a collector. He receives the reward depending on the way of life he leads – either thirtyfold (reward), or sixtyfold, or hundredfold – depending on whether he is a family man, widow, or a virgin; he receives the reward of a missionary, which is not less than a hundredfold or may be more; he also receives the reward of one who is persecuted for the name of the Lord – the great reward in Heaven – as the Lord said; he receives the reward of a peacemaker. Indeed a missionary in the course of the time becomes comparable to the great mountains, like St John Chrysostom used to say relating to the Day of Resurrection in Rome. He said: Imagine Rome in the time of the Resurrection, ‘wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat’ (2 Peter 3: 12), and from Rome, from the blazing Rome, like two great mountains, the apostles Peter and Paul shall rise up, who, like the great, burning mountains, shall ascend into Heaven. This is the image of those heights, unprecedented heights which are (prepared) for the missionaries. These are not the ordinary 'callows' of the earthly life. These are the supernatural, unthinkable joys in the eternity, which one can sense even now.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 05:27:12 AM by Gentleman » Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2011, 06:17:13 AM »

Part 10

I remember I talked with one friend of mine, - a missionary, who preaches by the river Yenisei now, - and he said: ‘You know father Daniel (by the way, he is my namesake – father Daniel), I got sick – I can’t live without the missionary work, it’s impossible to live (without it). That is (exactly the moment) when you actually hang on the missionary work, because that happiness, that unbelievable happiness which God gives to the missionaries, is impossible to mix up with anything on earth. Some people think they can substitute (their free time, slack, by doing something else), certain people try to entertain themselves, thinking: ‘What can I do (to entertain myself)?’, continue in depression, or some other things. But as soon as you go preaching,  the new life begins, an absolutely new moment begins. I think our missionaries know it. You get in another world. Isn’t it so? Indeed, you get in an absolutely new reality of the direct Kingdom, i.e. you are in the reality of the Kingdom of God. You begin now on earth to anticipate the Kingdom of God. Afterwards it carries you off in the eternity. Moreover all of you probably know the concept of fraternity, that exists on earth. The fellow countrymen help each other, promote each other’s causes. But do you know that there is a certain Heavenly fraternity? A  missionary has a huge number of friends in Heaven. Because the more you do the missionary work, the more you depend on help of your predecessors, the holy missionaries – the holy apostles, equal-to-the-apostles, holy monks, great enlighteners. And they become akin to you. They become relatives of your soul. That’s why you feel their support; it is real, even noticeable. In the sense of experience it is noticeable. It happens that when you read some writings of the great missionaries of the past, you see that your problem, which you cannot solve, is solved in this way. It strikes the eyes. And you understand that it is a personal gift of Someone. (It is as if) The holy Macary of Altai says: ‘Father Daniel, you think so, you have to do so-and-so.’ When you read the Apostle, (it is as if) the apostle Paul says: ‘You need to do thus-and-so.’ And so in everything. The Saints are with you, they are near. I think that the holy apostles will meet a missionary as soon as he leaves the body, in order to bring him in their place – in their section of paradise; although I am not sure that it will be paradise. Like the holy Justin Popovich used to say:( ‘The apostle Paul is not in the paradise, he is higher’ (than the paradise). He is there where God is, he is directly nearby the throne of God. Can you imagine, even now you have the possibility to end up not in the paradise after death, but to find yourself higher than the paradise; there where the Lord sits in His glory, where the apostles are. Like the apostle Paul says: ‘having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ’ (Philippians 1: 23); not even in paradise, but with Christ, what is far more better. Moreover the more a man preaches the Gospel, the less he is afraid of death. In fact it is by the virtue of the heavenly, immortal life that he senses and that slowly appears before his eyes. He sees (it) in the eyes of other people, and imperceptibly it ripens inside of him. He strengthens himself with this power. And what will be in the future? Well, do you know that on the foundations of the New Jerusalem are the names of the twelve missionaries (written; Revelation 21): Peter, Andrew, Simon, Thomas, and other apostles of the Lamb? I.e. the place of the missionaries are at the utmost heights.  And whosoever want to the utmost heights – please come here.
Some say: ‘It’s impossible to learn (how to do) the missionary work.’ This is not true. It is possible to learn the missionary work. Is it possible to learn the Word of God? Yes, it is. Is it possible to learn how to converse with people? Yes, it is possible too. All of these is possible. It is necessary to learn. But the first teacher will be He who has come on the day of Pentecost, of whom it is said: ‘he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14: 26), and he will shew you things to come’ (John 16: 13). His name is the Holy Spirit, Comforter, who is the leading driving force of our missionaries. This is what I wanted to tell you today.
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Gentleman
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian (Orthodox)
Jurisdiction: Moskow
Posts: 139


Manners maketh man


« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2011, 09:58:38 AM »

Apostle Paul describes a missionary like some samurai with two swords;
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left. (2 Corinthians 6)
Logged

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the earth, that they may come to know Thee by Thy Holy Spirit.

www.journeytoorthodoxy.com/
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.142 seconds with 45 queries.