KNOW YOURSELF – Иверский Орский женский монастырь



Sermon for Holy Saturday 15.04.2023


This service is the most difficult one throughout Great Lent. It is the last and longest one. The previous day, on Friday, we did not eat or drink anything; this is why we were exhausted. During this service, we acquire two precious pieces of knowledge. The first very essential knowledge is the knowledge about ourselves, how weak we are, how infirm our will is, and even that we have no will at all. None of it. It keeps constantly complaining, weeping, crying and reproaching, “When will all this end?” Even before Christ was born, pagan philosophers realized the value of this precious knowledge about oneself. They understood it very well and said, “Know yourself and through this knowledge you will learn another truth, which is deeper.”  

During such difficult times and during such difficult services, we learn how weak we are. This is precious. This is the foundation of our Christianity. 

The second piece of valuable knowledge, which we acquire during such services, is the knowledge of the great help of God strengthening us in Grace. When you are totally exhausted and it seems to you there is nothing ahead except for a nerve crisis and desperation, there suddenly comes… Do you remember how Elijah prayed? And the Lord came to Him not in a thunder or lightning, nor in something extraordinary, but He came to the Prophet as a light breeze. The Lord visited him very humbly and delicately. Glory to God, the Lord does not visit us with some fireworks, but sometimes a quiet reassurance comes as inspiration. The word “inspiration” has “spirit” as its root. This inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes and strengthens us, and we remember this. We remember how we were exhausted and prone to desperation, but at this extreme point, God came, healed and balanced everything and it worked out very well for us. The more of such experience a person has, the stronger he or she becomes in faith, as there is the knowledge that this happened before and if we remain patient for a while, everything will end in a good way. 

Glory to our Loving, Sweet, Kind, Delicate, the Best, and the Greatest God together with the Father, and the Holy Spirit always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen! 

I greatly appreciate your coming. Usually we have more people, but today’s cataclysms prevented some people from coming. We would have had more. 

Come on. I will award you with wine and bread.