June 21, 2010

Here is a society of men of the world...

...they go on talking and talking, for the greater part amusing themselves with trifles, and there is no mention of God--the common Father of all--of His love for us, of the future life, of recompense; why is it so? Because they are ashamed to speak of God. But what is still more surprising is that even persons deeming themselves pious, themselves luminaries, seldom speak of God, of Christ the Saviour, of the preciousness of time, of abstinence, of the resurrection from the dead, of judgment, of future bliss and everlasting torments, either in their family circle or amongst men of the world, but often spend their time in futile conversations, games, and occupations! This is, again, because they are ashamed to converse upon such subjects, being afraid to weary others, or fearing that they themselves may not be able to converse heartily upon spiritual subjects. O, adulterous and sinful world! Woe unto thee at the day of judgment by the universal and impartial Judge. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not."(St. John 1:11). Yes, the Lord and Creator of all is not received by us! He is not received into our houses, nor into our conversations; or, else, when a man reads a religious book or prayers aloud, why does he sometimes do so as if against his will, reluctantly, his tongue hesitating? His mouth speaketh not out of the abundance of the heart, but out of straitness and emptiness it can scarcely speak at all. Why is this so? It proceeds from the neglect of reading books and of prayer, and from false shame sown in the heart by the Devil. What miserable creatures we men are! We are ashamed of that which ought to be regarded as the highest honour. O, ungrateful and evil-natured creatures! What torments do we not deserve for such conduct.

From My Life in Christ by St. John of Krondstadt

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