Many of the serious infirmities that befall a man have their cause, known or unknown, in his past. The causes of such serious infirmities as, let us say, mental disorder; are nothing other than the transgression of the moral law of God.
When St. Charalampus was being tortured, the persecuting emperor learned of his miracle-working power. The emperor ordered an insane man to be brought before Charalampus, to see if Charapampus could heal him. The devil had tormented this man for thirty-five years, driving him into the wilderness and hills and hurling him into bogs and chasms.
When this deranged man approached Charalampus, the demon sensed a sweet-smelling fragrance emanating from the holy man and shouted: "I beg you, O servant of God, do not torment me before my time, but command me and I will depart. And, if you wish, I will tell you how it happened that I entered this man." The saint commanded the demon to relate the story. The demon said: "This man wanted to steal from his neighbor and thought to himself: 'If I don't kill the man first, I will not be able to seize his goods.' So he went and killed his neighbor. Having caught him in the act, I entered him, and, behold, I have dwelt in him for thirty-five years."
Upon hearing this, the saint of God commanded the demon to depart from the man immediately and to leave him in peace. The demon departed, and the demented man was restored to health and became tranquil.
On the sin of those who assert that they can see
"If ye were blind, ye should have no sin." (Jn. 9:41)
These words were spoken to the Jews by Him Who gave them the Law through the prophets, that the Law might serve them as the sight of the soul. The Jews received that sight, but they intentionally and evilly shut their eyes. That is why the righteous Lord spoke these righteous words to them.
These are words of true justice, yesterday and today and forever, for a blind man has no sin if he tramples upon someone else's crop or if he takes someone else's garment instead of his own. If he who has sight commits this, he will be committing a sin and will incur punishment. If he who has eyes intentionally closes his eyes and does this, he also will be committing a sin and will incur punishment.
Nevertheless, what can be said about those who have received baptism an chrismation, the two eyes of the soul, and still sin as those who are unbaptized? At the Last Judgment, they will not be treated as those who are born blind, rather they will be judged as transgressors who have willfully disfigured and blinded themselves.
And what can be said about those who receive the other Mysteries of grace in the fullness of Orthodoxy, having before them the examples of the saints, and constantly listening to the warnings and admonitions of God's Church, but who nevertheless depart and go astray? At the Last Judgment such people will not be able to justify themselves by any type of blindness, rather they will be judged as transgressors who have disfigured themselves and others around them with blindness.
O Awesome Lord, save us from sin. O Merciful Lord, open our eyes to the path of salvation.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
The Prologue of Ohrid, Vol. I
10 February, Reflection & Homily