Divine Liturgy in Strumica ( 22.03.2009 )
Today, on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, Metropolitan Nahum of Strumica celebrated Divine Liturgy in the
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it, but whoever loses his soul for Me will find it” (Mark 8, 34-35).
Interpreting the today’s Gospel, Bishop, among the other, said:
“How do we carry our Cross, denying of ourselves, following the Godman Christ? Through the crucifixion of our mind on the Cross. If the mind doesn’t crucify and not dies for this world nailed on the Cross of Christ, then it is not possible even its burial in the heart. If there is no burial of the mind in heart, then there is no hope for the gift of the resurrection.
“And, how do we crucify our mind on the Cross of Christ? Through keeping the purity of the Orthodox Faith, through obedience of the spiritual father in fulfilling the commandments of Christ and through the collected prayer in God. In this way, we stop the dirtying of the mind; we put it in a process of purification and we purify it, more and more, and by this we purify our heart. Because, everything that is not clean enters into our heart through the energy of mind and dirties it, the same as everything clean through the energy of mind comes to our heart and purifies it. The heart becomes dirty when the mind agrees to bad thought, bad words and bad deeds.
Enough purified heart from the passions becomes like a grave to the mind, which prayerfully resides in the heart. If we succeed to pass without a fall (that is, without earlier leaving of the prayerful residence in the heart) the period in which the untransformed part of the passions will be induced by a real challenge for their satisfaction, then we can hope for the gift of the resurrection – of the soul and of the body. The thought is not a real challenge of the second level of the spiritual development, but the body challenged by a real body, the pile of money which are kept in the pocket and the hostility of the ones to whom we have never made a evil.
The carrying of the own Cross and the denial of ourselves is fulfilled, for the second level, with enough love even to the enemies. Enough for what? For passing over on the level of deification, which is the real following of Christ.”
According to the record of the Sisters