In our day, you usually hear these words from parents: "We want to secure the life of our child." That is why they work very hard to amass wealth - often unjustly - to educate their child in the calling that brings the greatest physical security and material benefit. And this is done by so-called Christians! They do this because their concept of real life and the real security of life is erroneous.
Here is how a true Christian mother prepares her son for real life: At the time of her death, Blessed Euphrosyne spoke to her son, Clement of Ancyra: "Do me the honor, O my son, and bravely stand up for Christ and confess Him firmly and without hesitation! In my heart I hope that the crown of martyrdom will soon blossom on you, in my honor and for the salvation of many. Do not be afraid of threats, or swords, or pains, or wounds, or fire. Let nothing separate you from Christ, but look up to heaven - and from there you can expect your great, eternal and rich reward from God."
"Fear God's majesty; be afraid of His awesome judgment; tremble at His all-seeing Eye; for all those who deny Him will receive the punishment of unquenchable fire and the eternally vigilant worm. Let this be my reward from you, my sweet son - for my pain in childbearing and my effort concerning your education - that I may be called the mother of a martyr. Do not spare the blood that you received from me, but shed it, that from this I may also receive honor. Submit your body to torture, that I too may rejoice at this before our Lord - as though I myself had suffered for Him."
On the most-discerning Prophet
"Wherefore thank ye evil in your hearts?" (Mt. 9:4)
When our Lord deigned to direct a rebuke to the Pharisees and scribes, they had, as yet, neither killed anyone, nor deceived anyone, nor robbed anyone. Not only that: they had not yet even offended anyone by their words. Why then did our Lord admonish them when they had not committed any sin either in works or in words? Because their thoughts were evil.
An evil thought is sin! This is a great new understanding, which Christ brought into the world. In truth, an evil thought is the sinful source of all sin because, before a man says something or does something sinful, he thinks sinfully. Thought is the causative sin. All other sins are only subsequent sins. Whoever wishes to annihilate evil actions, must first dry up the source.
Therefore, let no one justify himself by saying: "I am not a sinner, for I have not killed anyone, robbed anyone, profaned anyone, or lied to anyone!" Behold, we are full of deadly robbing, profaning and deceiving thoughts! If we have not committed sin by our deeds, this is simply a matter of the mercy of God and external circumstances. But, if God had allowed it, and if the circumstances had been favorable, we would have committed all those sins that we thought of. The serpent is venomous not only when it bites but also when it does not bite - because it carries the venom in itself.
Therefore, not only is thought a sin, but it is also the source of sin, the beginning of sin, the seed and the root of sin. That is why the All-seeing and All-knowing Lord rebuked those who had evil thoughts. "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?"
O Lord, all-seeing and all-knowing, help us to cleanse our hearts and minds from evil thoughts, so that our words and deeds may be pure.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue of Ohrid, Vol. I
24 January, Reflection & Homily