Saturday, May 8, 2010

On the Comprehension of Ecclesiastical Literature


A monk complained to St. Arsenios the Great that while reading Holy Scripture he does not feel, neither the power of the words read nor gentleness in his heart.

To that the great saint replied to him: "My child, just read! I heard that the sorcerers of serpents, when they cast a spell upon the serpents, the sorcerers are uttering the words, which they themselves do not understand, but the serpents hearing the spoken words sense their power and become tamed. And so, with us, when we continually hold in our mouths the words of Holy Scripture, but even though we do not feel the power of the words, evil spirits tremble and flee for they are unable to endure the words of the Holy Spirit."

My child, just read! The Holy Spirit Who, through inspired men, wrote these divine words, will hear, will understand and will hasten to your assistance; and the demons will understand, will sense, and will flee from you. That is: He Whom you invoke for assistance will understand, and those whom you wish to drive away from yourself will understand. And both goals will be achieved.

- St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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