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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

On bishops

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By St. Rev. Simeon the New Theologian,

From “Instruction with rebuke to all: kings, bishops, priests, monks and laity, spoken and spoken by the mouth of God (excerpt)

…Bishops, heads of dioceses, understand:

You are the imprint of My image.

Placed, you speak before Me,

In the assemblies of the righteous you are to come.

You are called My disciples,

Bearing My divine image.

Even over the small communal table

Such great power you have obtained,

What I have from the Father, God the Word.

I am God by nature, but I became incarnate

And I became a man, but in two acts, will

And in two natures. Inseparable, unfused.

I am human and God is perfect.

As a man I raised you up

With your hands to touch and hold Me.

As God, I am inaccessible to you

And elusive to your mortal hands.

I am invisible to the blind in spirit,

For all the slaughter – I remained unapproachable,

God and man in one universal Hypostasis of the Self.

Among the bishops there are those

Who with their sana became proud,

And they rise above others,

Considering everyone as worthless and inferior.

There are quite a few bishops who

They are too far from the dignity of their state.

I’m not talking about the ones where

Words with deeds, with life are one,

And their lives reflect the teaching and the words.

But I say of bishops much,

Whose life does not suit their preaching

And which My terrible secrets do not know,

And they think that My bread of fire they ascend,

But My bread indeed, as simple, they despise,

And simple bread they eat, but My invisible glory,

It is impossible to catch a glimpse of them at all.

Thus, few of My bishops are worthy.

There are many who are high in rank

And in appearance they are humble – but with a false,

With a disgusting, stupid, hypocritical humility.

Chasing only human praise,

They despise me, Creator of the whole universe,

And as a poor man I am – despised and rejected.

They hold My body unworthy,

Striving to rise above all, and they have not

The robes of My grace which

They never acquired in any way.

Into My temple they boldly come uninvited,

They enter the depths of unspoken mansions,

Which are unworthy even from the outside to look at.

But I mercifully bear their shamelessness.

Entering, they speak to Me as if to a friend:

They want you not as servants, but as comrades

To show themselves – and stand there fearlessly.

Without my grace,

They promise people to pray for them,

Though guilty of many sins,

They put on shining garments,

But they look clean only on the outside.

Their souls are dirtier than the mud in the swamps,

They are more terrible than deadly poison,

Villains, righteous only in appearance.

As once the traitor Judas,

He took bread from Me and ate it unworthily,

As if this bread were the most ordinary thing,

And at that moment “by bread” the devil entered him,

It turned him into a shameless traitor to God.

A perfidious executor of his will,

Slave and servant of Judah did.

This will happen unknowingly to those who

Which boldly, proudly and unworthily

My Divine Mysteries touch.

Especially the heads of the dioceses, of the capitals,

Priests often

Before Communion they have a seared conscience,

And then – completely condemned already.

Enter My Divine Court boldly,

They stand at the altar shamelessly and talk to each other,

Not seeing Me and not feeling at all

My unapproachable Divine glory.

Well, if they could see, they wouldn’t dare

They wouldn’t even dare to act like that

To enter the vestibule of an Orthodox church.

Which of us, the priests, today

First he cleansed himself of vices

And only then did he dare to be a priest?

Who could without fear say,

That he despised earthly glory and accepted the priesthood

Only for the heavenly Divine glory?

Who alone has loved Christ completely,

And gold and riches he rejected?

Who lives modestly and is content with little?

And who has never misappropriated?

Who is not tormented by the conscience for a bribe?

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