August 8, 2012 + How Our Life is in the Lord, Not in Sensual Things


by St. John of Kronstadt
from
My Life in Christ

When God looks mercifully upon earth-born creatures through the eyes of nature, through the eyes of bright, healthful weather, everyone feels bright and joyful. When there is a healthful breeze, there is wholesome air in all bodies and souls; but when a cold, damp, strong wind blows, then everyone feels oppressed in soul and body. Many earth-born creatures groan from maladies; many give themselves up to despondency and melancholy. So powerful and irresistible is the influence of nature upon mankind. And it is remarkable that those who are less bound by carnal desires and sweetnesses; who are less given up to gluttony; who are more moderate in eating and drinking, to them nature is more kindly disposed, and does not oppress them--at least, not nearly so much as those who are the slaves of their nature and their flesh. O how clear it is that our life is in the Lord, and not in sensual things; how clear it is that the Lord is in everything "which worketh all in all." [296]

In the air He is our breath; in food the satisfying of our hunger; in drink the quenching of our thirst; in clothing our raiment; in the dwelling our protection, warmth, and tranquility; in sleep our rest; in pure, instructive, chaste, and edifying conversation our speech; in mutual love, our love. Lord, Master, our Creator and Benefactor, grant that we may always remember Thee at every moment of our life; that by Thee "we live and move and have our being;" [297]that we have life, breath, and everything from Thee. But let us also remember that if in all that has been enumerated we pervert God's laws, He becomes our grievous punishment. He will become our punishment even in the air, in food and drink; He will no longer be the satisfying of our hunger and the quenching of our thirst, but either our aversion from them or a sickness, as happens when, it is said, that food does no good to some person; in clothing or in the dwelling, our weakness and distress of mind; in sleep not rest, but uneasiness and fear; in speech, constraint; in wrongful love, the fiery torments. The sources of punishment usually appear in our sinful inclinations themselves. "Wherewithal a man sinneth, by the same also shall he be punished." [298]

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St. Emilian the Confessor of the Icons, Bishop of Cyzicus

Troparion - Tone 3

In confessing the Faith you proclaimed Orthodox doctrine and were unjustly exiled for rebuking the wicked king. Righteous and glorious Emilian, the boast of Cyzicus, entreat Christ God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion - Tone 3

The Church for which you suffered glorifies you in hymns, O Emilian; you were a valiant champion of the Trinity, therefore we honor your memory. Deliver your servants from all assaults of the enemy.