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October 2018 English Newsletter | Santa Verena Charity

October 2018 English Newsletter Posted October 4, 2018 by admin

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My Beloved the benevolent                                                                     October 2018          

Grace and peace wishing every goodness and blessing

Our Good Lord, the Lover of mankind, gave us commandments to live by. God gave Adam a commandment not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to protect him from death. For He said to him: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen. 2:16-17 For as it was a sign of the love of God to give us the commandments; it is also a sign of our love to Him to keep the commandments. As Christ said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” Jn. 14:15 and He added, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Jn.14:21 Keeping the divine commandments helps man live a life of purity and holiness. And purity of heart makes a person see God, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” Matt. 5:8 Thus Christ promised that He will manifest Himself to the one who keeps His commandments. (Jn.14:21)

  • Keeping God’s commandments requires a life of conscientiousness. For the commandments are integrated and interrelated. For example: for a person to keep the commandment of not judging, he is keeping the commandment of love, self-examination, not harboring ill thoughts towards others, not disclosing others’ sins, and others.
  • We cannot keep the commandments using our own strength, but rather through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Therefore, when Christ our Lord talked to His disciples about keeping the commandments in John 14, He also talked about sending the Holy Spirit, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.” Jn. 14:15-16
  • When we take lightly little matters, we fall into greater sins. The Song of Soliman says, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Soliman 2:15 Some take lightly areas they don’t consider important, such as: abstinence from food while fasting, or in giving (especially the minimum which is the tithe)- or in fulfilling a vow on time, etc. They think that the most important thing is a person’s heart, but practical experience in spiritual life proves that most major sins start by slacking off in the simple things.
  • Let us take the example of the falling of David the prophet. He was a king, married, loving God, and was pure in heart. A man of prayer who fought the wars of the Lord and won, he defeated Goliath, and God proclaimed his purity of heart. This great giant of the Bible committed adultery, and killed. How and why did this happen?

Let us refer to 2 Samuel, chapter 11 which talks about the story of this great giant David and how he fell, so that we can learn and take heed:

David’s sin or sins started with slacking that seemed simple. David sent Joab and his servants with him as well as all of Israel to war against God’s enemies, but he did not go with them like he usually did, but stayed at home. So, what did David do as he was relaxing with nothing to do in the midst of a war? The Book of 2 Samuel says, “Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.” 2 Sam. 11:2 He was relaxing, walking on the roof, and then he looked, lusted, and committed adultery. He then killed this woman’s husband, Uriah the Hittite, by the hands of the enemy. These were the horrible sins that were committed by the pure king.

The example of David was due to lack of conscientiousness of the little foxes that spoiled the vine of David the great.

Thus, my beloved we need to be careful to keep the commandments and start by getting rid of the little foxes that spoil the vine. For adultery starts with lust, and killing starts with anger, so if a person doesn’t treat the lustful heart or the lust that is inside him, he will not be able to control himself of adultery. And if one doesn’t deal with the feeling of anger and hatred inside the heart, one could fall into the sin of killing, physically or morally – by slander or defaming the person he doesn’t like.

Christ our Lord, in the Sermon on the Mount, cared about treating the cause of sin. He warned against the lustful look and the hatred inside the heart, and commanded purity of the heart.

May God grant us a life of scrupulousness in keeping the commandments, and protect us from the little foxes that spoil the vine, and bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs.

 

Metropolitan Serapion