Small Pearls from The Prologue from Ochrid
Homily On the Necessity of Re-iteration (July 17)
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these
things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth (II Pet.
A ploughman ploughs a field. Does he not repeat the same action again and
again? How else would the field be tilled, if he did not repeat his action from
dawn to dusk, deepening furrow after furrow?
A traveller goes along a road. Does he not, every moment, renew the same
action, the same effort? How else would his journey pass and his destination be
A carpenter cuts planks in his workshop. Does he not repeat the same action
for every plank? How else would he prepare the required number of planks? My
brethren, is not everything that we do on a practical level a series of
repetitions? Let not the preacher of truth grow weary and say: I have told
them, and will not repeat it! Let not the hearer of truth grow proud and say:
I have heard that once, and dont need to hear it again.
O teacher of the truth, do not be afraid of repeating again and again; of
teaching by repetition and reminding by repetition. With out repetition, the
field is not ploughed nor the road travelled, nor the plank prepared. That is
your task: to plough, to lead, to prepare.
O hearer of the truth, do not grow proud and say that you have heard the
truth once. Truth is food for the soul. You have eaten bread today, and
yesterday and the day before, month by month and year by year. And you will go
on eating it, to strengthen your body. Feed your soul as well. Feed it with
truth; with the same truth yesterday and today and tomorrow and for the rest of
your life, that your soul may become whole and filled with light.
O Lord Jesus, feed us every day and every hour with Thy truthwith Thyself, O
Jesus, Thou sweet food! To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
For Consideration (from June 5th)
Never break the fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. This fast is ordained by the
Church, and is well-attested. If, at any time in your life, you break this fast,
pray for forgiveness and do not sin again. Devout people do not regard
themselves as dispensed from this fast either when travelling or in sickness. St
Pachomius once met some people who were carrying a corpse, and saw two angels in
the funeral procession. He asked God to reveal to him the mystery of the
presence of the two angels at the burial of this man. What especial good had he
done that two angels should escort him to the grave? Then, by the providence of
God, the two angels came across to Pachomius and explained to him: One of us is
the angel of Wednesday, and the other the angel of Friday. As this man fasted
every Wednesday and Friday right up to his death, we are giving his corpse a
solemn escort. As he kept the fast up to his death, so we are here to glorify
From The Prologue from
Ochrid contains short accounts of the lives of major saints for each day, as
well as homily, something "for consideration", and points to ponder from Old
Testament readings. It is a most valuable addition to any Orthodox library. The
contents of these volumes are online at
http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm or can be purchased in hardback
from any good Orthodox bookseller.