"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Praise of Men

"A true Christian avoids the praise of men; not only avoids, but has a true fear of it.  A devout prince, upon hearing of the mortification of St. Moses Murin [the Black], went with his retinue into the desert to see him. Informing Moses that the prince was coming to his monastery, Moses quickly ran out and began to flee and to hide somewhere, but he unexpectedly encountered the high-ranking visitors. "Where is the cell of Abba Moses?" the servants of the prince asked, not suspecting that this was Moses himself. Moses opened his mouth and said: "What do you want him for? He is an ignorant old man, very untruthful and completely impure in life." Hearing this, the visitors were astonished and continued on. When they arrived at the cell of Moses, they inquired about the elder and the monks said that he was not there. Then they began to relate what a monk on the road had said about Moses. The monks were saddened and asked them: "How did he look, this old man, who spoke to you mocking words about this holy man?" and when they said that he was very dark in the face, tall and in a miserable garment; the monks cried out loudly: "but that was indeed the Abba Moses!" By this incident, the prince benefited greatly spiritually and rejoicefully returned to his home."

(Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue From Ochrid: Lives of the Saints and Homilies for Every Day in the Year, Vol. 3, p. 250.) 

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