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Prayer/reflection by
St Nikolai Velimirovic ☦️

"Lord, Bless My Enemies" - A Prayer of St. Nikolai of Ochrid
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.

Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.

Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.

Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Thy tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.

They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.

They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.

They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.

Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.

Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.

Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.

Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.

Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life,they have demolished it and driven me out.

Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Thy garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:

so that my fleeing to Thee may have no return;

so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;

so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;

so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;

so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;

ah, so that I may for once be freed from self deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.

One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.

It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.

Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.

But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life.

Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

St. Isaac the Syrian on Humility
"A humble man is internally a very strong man, fearless, remains calm in every situation, never rash, hasty or disturbed. He is always at rest as nothing agitates his mind. Just as you cannot frighten the mountain, you cannot frighten the humble man. The humble man is not of this world. He is not troubled and altered by sorrows and does not lose himself in joys, but his gladness and joys are things of his Lord.

Humility is accomplished by self-collectedness, chastity of the senses, moderate voice, self-belittlement, easily flowing tears, a solitary soul, contrite heart, absence of anger, endurance, patience, patient endurance of trials, manliness of heart which is born of a hatred of this temporal life."

Reflection: ✨☀️✨☀️✨

In reflecting on the features of a humble man, as described St. Isaac, we realise several things. Firstly, we see that some of these attributes of humility are not in us yet. This is a good thing to be aware of, for it allows us to have an honest starting point with which to see ourselves. Most importantly, it offers us a clear direction forward. It provides a proper understanding of what true humility is and what we’re to strive toward.

How then are we to reach this state? The answer is hidden in the meaning of sainthood.

The saint means to be - *set apart*, in accordance with the way the ancient Christians viewed themselves – different from the rest of the World. To be set apart from the World means to be dedicated for service to God and to others. This means to pray and to serve, not just to take and indulge, which is characteristic of people of the World.

The saint lives in the presence of God
– serving God and others.

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3 months, 1 week ago