July 11, 2010

On Change of Fortune and Loss of Security

by St. Nikolai Velimirovich

A change of fortune strikes the hardest when it strikes unexpectedly. But, he who expects the stroke and guards himself against it beforehand, should he then be surprised?

King Charlemagne the Great ordered his sons to learn a trade and his daughters to learn to spin wool in order to be able to earn a living should their fate change.

The famous and renown Belisarius, a great general and a great conqueror, was slandered by the envious before the king and on the basis of these slanders was blinded and his estate taken away from him. The blind Belisarius sat before the gates of Rome and begged for alms saying to passers-by: "Give alms to Belisarius whom fortune raised on high but was toppled by envy and deprived of his sight!"

The righteous Job says: "Is not a man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of a hireling?" (Job 7:1). Therefore, one must be as a watchful guard and prepared for all that may happen. What is there that cannot happen to a man? And yet, in every suffering one must have hope in God. On the dunghill in all his festering sores, the Righteous Job cried out: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him!" (Job 13:15).