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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. 1:12).

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 reached?

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 truth—with 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 him.

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.