Father Živojin’s Sermon from September 4, 2016

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– It is said that God has given people two special methods to cope with difficulties of everyday life. These two methods are sleep and hope. When we think about our lives, we do realize that we, indeed, spend one third of our lives sleeping. But, this is not the only gift that God has given us. God has given us much more, something that belongs only to Him. As God created us according to His image, He also gave us minds and the ability to think. However, let us be warned: our thoughts can be both beneficial and destructive to us. This is why our wise Elder Tadej was so correct when he identified the quality of our thoughts with the quality of our lives. He expressed this through a very profound statement, by saying that “The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our lives.” Indeed, we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are churches. But the altars of these churches are our minds. This is where we offer service to the Lord. And what is this service if not our godly ideas, the most important of all of our offerings. As such, these thoughts must be harmonious, positive, good, meek, humble and noble. Only then the quality of our lives will be at the appropriate levels. Only then can we say that we serve the Lord. For, regardless of the material bliss around us, and the material wealth, if our thoughts are not in the right place, our vision will be complete darkness. Our great Bishop Nikolaj was aware of this wisdom. He had not learned this in school, but from our common folk, who taught him the wisdom he demonstrated in his writings and his sermons. He expressed this very idea of the significance of our minds in our lives, when he compared people’s beautiful faces with clear creeks and rivers, and said “As do frogs reside in clear creeks and rivers, so do ugly thoughts reside in beautiful heads. An individual, who only cares about his own external looks, but neglects his thoughts, reminds us of a person who constructed a beautiful home, but did not care to install windows and doors on it. As a result, geese and pigs freely enter when they wish. The host becomes so used to these frequent guests, that his human guests become strange to him.” This is why holy people often chose places that were dry, remote, and deserted, places over which no one fought. These holy people only focused on their inner world and spiritual ambiance. But if one would listen to their hearts, one would detect in them tranquility, joy and fulfillment. Such was Moses, also known as “the friend of God,” whose face physically shined. But more importantly, this radiance that dazzled those who looked upon him was a reflection of his inner goodness, meekness and greatness by which he conquered the world.

I have no doubt that our every good word and positive thought, also have tremendous power that can uplift the disappointed, encourage the discouraged, strengthen the weak and uplift the disheartened. In similar manner, not only will this noble attitude leave a mark on others but will also, with the same intensity, move, inspire and uplift our own selves.

V. Rev. Živojin Jakovljević

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