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Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Christian Conscience

When a man acquires a Christian conscience, he zealously labors to correct his life and to please God. For him, all else becomes of little importance. We have examples of such men not only among the great ascetics and spiritual fathers but also among powerful rulers themselves. Emperor Theodosius the Great gives us such an example who, for a brief time, fell into heresy after which he repented. St. Ambrose, his earlier critic, spoke over his lifeless body: "I loved this man who, divesting himself of all imperial insignias, openly in church bewailing his sin and, with sighs and tears, begged forgiveness. What ordinary men are ashamed to do, the emperor was not ashamed to do. After his glorious victory over the enemies of the empire, he decided not to approach Holy Communion until the return of his sons only because his enemies were slain in battle."

- St. Nikolai Velimirovich
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