August 30, 2017

Sixth Teaching of Saint Kosmas the Aitolos


By St. Kosmas the Aitolos

May the Holy Trinity have mercy upon us and save us. Amen.

Most holy Theotokos, help us and save us. Amen.

OUR LORD AND GOD Jesus Christ, my brethren, our sweetest Lord and Master, the creator of angels and of all intelligible and perceptible creation, moved by his infinite compassion and by the great love he has for our race, condescended, among the infinite and many gifts he has granted us, to become perfect man by the Holy Spirit and the purest blood of our Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. He became incarnate to free us from the hands of the evil devil and to make us sons and heirs of his kingdom, to rejoice and to be glad with the angels forever, and not to be burned with the wretched demons.

The Apostles

JUST AS A RULER who has fields and vineyards hires workers, so our Lord Jesus Christ has us as a vineyard. He took twelve Apostles and blessed them and sent them to the whole world. And if men wish to live well and. in peace here in this vain world, the most gracious God will have compassion on them and put them in paradise. He counseled them to believe and be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and to keep our God's commandments. In whatever land the holy Apostles went, the Lord said for them to bless that land. And in whatever land the Apostles went and were not received by men, the Lord said for them st from their shoes and to depart. to shake the dust from their shoes and to depart.

Receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit, they ran as lightning, and with that grace of the Spirit they cured the lame, the crippled, the blind and those possessed by demons. And with the command of our Christ, they raised the dead. It is meet and proper, brethren, for me, the unworthy and sinful servant, to have a clean heart like that of the pure Apostles and to have that grace of the All-Holy and masterful Spirit, I who have been found worthy to come to your land. But because I am a sinner and I don't have the grace of the Holy Spirit, I beg our Lord Jesus Christ to send his grace from on high and to bless your land and your possessions and the work of your hands. And first, to have compassion on us, to forgive us our sins, and to make us worthy, my children, to live here well and in peace and to put us in paradise to glorify the Holy Trinity. And in whatever land the Apostles went, they ordained bishops and priests. They blessed that land and it became an earthly paradise: joy and gladness, a residence of angels, a residence of our Christ. And in whatever land they were not received, it became a curse and not a blessing, a residence of the devil and not of our Christ. It is meet and proper, my brethren and fellow Christians, to begin my teaching and to thank God when we finish.

The Gifts of Love

GOD HAS MANY NAMES, my brethren. The principal name of God is love. He is a Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one nature, one glory, one kingdom, one God. We should first love God, my brethren, because he gave us such a large earth to live in, so many thousands of people. And he gave us plants, fountains, rivers, oceans, fish, birds, night and day, sky, sun, stars, sun and moon. He made us human beings and not animals; he made us pious Christians and not heretics. Now I ask you, my brethren, tell me whom do you want, God or the devil?

"We want God."

Yes, that's very good, my very prudent children. May your blessing be upon me. But let us see this love. Is this love perhaps faithful; is it complete or does it lack anything? We must understand it for ourselves. You, my fellow Christians, have a son, and I honor you and say your child is good but I beat it, I despise it, I take its bread and I eat it. What do you say, is this love? Love, it seems to me you are saying, is not that. And we, just as we love our God, we must love our brother, because it is natural to love our brother and unnatural not to love him. We must love our brother because we have one faith, one baptism; we receive the [same] holy Mysteries; we hope to enjoy the same paradise; we have one head, our Christ. My brethren, love has two characteristics, two qualities: one strengthens man toward the good and the other weakens him for the bad.

I have bread to eat and I have [enough] to drink, but you don't. Love tells me: "Don't eat it alone and don't drink alone, but give also to Your brother." I have clothes, but You don't. Love tells me: "Give one suit to Your brother." I open my mouth to condemn you, to lie to you, but love deadens my mouth and I shut up. I stretch out my hand to take something of yours but love won't allow me. You see, my brethren, what gifts love has?

The Need for Schools

BECAUSE YOU DON'T know what love is, my children, you must establish schools, for people learn everything in school. They learn who God is, who are the holy angels, who are the accursed devils, and what is the virtue of a just man. Schools enlighten people. They open the eyes of the Pious and Orthodox Christians to learn the Sacraments.

The Last Days

READING THE SACRED SCRIPTURES my brethren, I find that Prophet Elias is alive and God has kept him for thousands of years and intends on sending him when he destroys the world. And again searching in the holy Scriptures, I find that Prophet Elias and the Antichrist have come - the latter we have on our heads and I don't have to tell you [who he is], for you know him. And now we no longer expect either the Prophet Elias nor the Antichrist.

It is sad for me to tell you, my brethren, but the holy and sacred Scriptures command me to tell you. Today, tomorrow we can expect such famine, thirst, droughts, epidemics, and plagues that we won't have time to bury the dead. Today, tomorrow we can expect a great earthquake to take place, for all the people to die. And afterwards the all-holy Cross will shine brighter than the sun, while our sweetest Jesus Christ will shine seven times brighter than the sun. The entire world will be raised up both with body and soul (he who is good will be like an angel and he who is evil will be like the thrice-cursed devil). And he will say to the just: "Come to me, the blessed of my Father, to inherit the kingdom of my Father, because you have kept my commandments and my faith."

Then the Lord will say to the sinners: "Go, you who are accursed, to hell to be with your father the devil because you have not kept my commandments and my faith." And then the Lord will open a fiery river, like an ocean, to burn the sinners and the impious, and he will put the just on the right, and the sinners on the left.

The Jesus Prayer

WHAT ARE WE, MY BRETHREN,just or sinners? If we are just, we are of good fortune and thrice-blessed; if we are sinners, we should know now that we have time to repent, to correct ourselves. I counsel you, therefore, to do this. All of you should get a prayer rope which will have one hundred and three knots. And at each knot say, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Lord of the living God, through the Theotokos and all the saints, have mercy upon me a sinner and your unworthy servant." Therefore, I plan to leave you healthy, spiritually and bodily.

In Jesus Christ, my brethren, you can see the Holy Trinity and all the saints together with the precious Cross. The saints were crucified with our Lord Jesus Christ physically and spiritually. We, my brethren, should bless the earth, the sky, the sea, and we will go to paradise to rejoice and be glad forever.

My children, here where I have come, I experience joy and sadness. Christians come to me singly to tell me their complaints but a servant cannot work for two masters. I cannot confess them, so I individually ask them to leave, and my heart is broken. It is as if one had a child who is ill and one rejects it. But I should confess to you openly. If, my children, you were to take four hairs from my beard, I would take all the weight of your sins. From the time I was born I have borne everything. And you should explain the four meanings and learn them. And if, my children, you want me to tell them to you, find a confessor, a man of virtue, and go to confession and tell him all of your sins. Don't omit any, for if you do you have gained nothing. Forgive your enemy and don't concern yourselves only with yourselves but look out for your brethren and your children. And you will have my blessing and the blessings of the Panagia and that of our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified, of the true God whose might and glory be to the ages of ages. Amen.

From Father Kosmas The Apostle of the Poor by Nomikos M. Vaporis. Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, Massachusetts.