Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Lent Week 3 Meditation

Don't wait to win the lottery to do good works!

Here's a reflection from St. Nikolai Velimirovic about this very thing from The Prologue of Ohrid:

You will hear this kind of justification from many who pursue riches: "When I become rich, I will be able to perform good works!"  Do not believe them, for they deceive both you and themselves.  St. John Climacus knew in depth the most secret motives of men's souls when he said: "The beginning of love of money is the pretext of almsgiving and the end of it is hatred of the poor." This is confirmed by all lovers of money, both the very rich and the less rich.  The average man says: "If only I had money, I would carry out this and that good work!"  Do not believe him.  Let him not believe himself.  Let him look, as in a mirror, at those who have money and who are not willing to do this or that good work.  That is how he would be if he acquired some money.  Again, the wise John says: "Do not say that you must collect money for the poor, that through this assistance you might gain the Kingdom.  Remember, for two mites the Kingdom was purchased." (Luke 21:1-4)Truly, the widow in the Gospel purchased it for two mites, and the rich man, before whose gates Lazarus lay, could not purchase it for all of his countless riches (Luke 16:19-31) If you have nothing to give to the poor, pray to God that He will give to them, and by this you have performed almsgiving and purchased the heavenly Kingdom.  When St. Basil the New prophesied to the empress, the wife of Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, that she would first give birth to a daughter and then to a son, the empress offered him much gold.  The saint refused it.  The empress implored him in the name of the Holy Trinity that he take the gold.  Then St. Basil took only three pieces of gold and gave it to his needy servant, Theodora, saying: "We do not need too much of these thorns, for they prick much." 
BTW, May you all have a blessed Feast of the Annuciation today!  March 25 + 9 months = December 25th.  Click here for more info. 

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