November 15 - Daily Thoughts from St. Theophan, One of Russia's Favorite 19th Century Writers

"The Queen of the South condemns all those who are indifferent and cold-hearted towards God and His works right now, because the Lord in His Gospel is visible today as clearly as He was visible on earth 2000 years ago. . ."

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

Editor's Note: Saint Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of 19th-century Russia. His works comprise over twenty volumes. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily. We will be publishing excerpts from Thoughts for Each Day of the Year (Amazon). In it, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day: lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God - which are problems of our day as well.


Monday, 22nd week after Pentecost
Epistle reading: Colossians 2:13-20
Gospel reading: Luke 11:29-33

Condemned for Indifference

“The Queen of the South shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them” [Luke 11:31]. Condemn them for what?  For indifference to God’s work which unfolded before their eyes. That Queen, having heard of Solomon’s wisdom, came from far away to hear him, while those men, beholding the Lord Himself, did not listen to Him — even though they knew Him to be higher than Solomon as the sky is higher than the earth.

Likewise, the Queen of the South condemns all those who are indifferent and cold-hearted towards God and His works right now, because the Lord in His Gospel is visible today as clearly as He was visible on earth 2000 years ago. Reading the Gospel, we have the Lord with all His miracles before our eyes, for the Gospel is as certain as the witness of our own eyes. And still, though His impression on our souls is so powerful, only a few heed to the Lord. Either we are looking the other way, or just have closed our eyes. In any case, we do not see Him, and consequently, we do not take part in His works.

This is, however, not an excuse for us, but simply a reason for our disregard to the Lord, a reason equally abominable as our behavior itself. The Lord’s work is the most important of all: it is the salvation of our souls. The Lord’s work, irrespective to ourselves, ought to be of the highest priority anyway — so much more when it is dedicated to us, to our very existence, to our eternal well-being. See, then, how detestable it is to disregard it!

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