Tuesday, May 4, 2010

St. Maxim the Fool: "Yes, It Is Bitterly Cold, But Paradise Is Sweet!"

St. Maxim the Fool for Christ (Feast Day - November 11 & August 13)
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Blessed Maxim, "fool for Christ," walked about unclad throughout the streets of Moscow in winter. In response to the advice of men that he dress and protect himself from the cold, Maxim was known to respond: "Yes, it is bitterly cold, but Paradise is sweet!" He also responded: "For patience, God grants salvation!" When Christ Himself did not feel sorrow to give Himself over to suffering and death, why should we feel sorry for ourselves because of ourselves? He [Christ] prescribed a recipe for us; a diet for our spiritual restoration to health and He called that "an easy yoke." "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). The yoke which we impose upon ourselves is much heavier, for this yoke pulls us down deeper and deeper into spiritual illness. The earth seeks much greater sacrifices from us and does not promise us any reward after death. The earth seeks that we sacrifice even God, soul, conscience, mind and all of human and divine dignity to it and, for this, it shows a dark and putrid grave as the end of everything and reward for all. Christ seeks that we sacrifice only the earth, our beastliness and sin, vice and all wickedness and, for that, He promises resurrection and eternal life in Paradise. "Yes, it is bitterly cold, but Paradise is sweet!"

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