You are on page 1of 3

HomilyTheSalvationofOurSouls

BishopAugustineofFlorina

TheChurchisthecenteroftheliturgicallifeforOrthodoxChristians.InsidetheChurch,thefaithful
liveandreceivetheGraceoftheHolyMysteries.ThegreatestopportunityforreceivingDivineGrace
isthecelebrationoftheDivineLiturgy.
ThemostReverenedAugustine(BishopofFlorina,Greece)isawellknownBishopintheOrthodox
Church. BishopAugustine gives many beneficial homilies on the Divine Liturgy and discusses the
mainpointsoftheLiturgy,makingsitsmeaningunderstandablebothtothehighlyeducated,andto
theunversedlayman,inorderforallOrthodoxChristianstoenjoyinitsriches.
MypersonalfavoritehomilybyBishopAugustineisononeofthepetitionsintheGreatSupplication
intheDivineLiturgy,whichsaysForthesalvationofoursouls,letuspraytotheLord.Belowwe
canreadthehomilyonthisparticularsupplication:
Man is constituted of body and soul. No one disputes the fact that he has a body. It can be seen,
handled, and analyzed in scientific laboratories. The body is of great value. It is a wondrous
organism,whichcanoperateforupto100ormoreyears.Thebodilyorganismismadeupofmany
parts, each indispensable for the bodys normal functioning. Each part, among which are the eyes,
ears, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, and heart, as well as many others, has its own specific function.
Some of these parts are irreplaceable. Science, it is true, has succeeded in artificially reproducing
certainorgans,butthesereplacementscannotcompareinperfectionwithournaturalorgans.
Thebody,aswearetaughtintheNewTestamentisatempleofGod.Atemplemadeofstoneisnot
valuableinandofitself,becauseofitsmaterialsanditsartisticdesign,butbecauseitiswhereman
worshipsGod.Sowiththehumanbody.Thebodyisvaluablebecauseitisthedwellingplaceofthe
soul.
Isthereasoul?menask.Weseethebody.Wedonotseethesoul.Whereisthissoul?Thesoul,we
answer,isimmaterial,andassuchisinvisible.Yet,eventhoughitisinvisible,noreasonablemancan
denyitsexistence.Theproofisinitsmanymanifestations,whichcanonlybeexplainedastheactions
ofthesoulwithinthe body.Itisnotthebodybutthesoulwhichthinks,judges,perceives,feels,is
conscious,exercisesfreechoice,allofwhichmakesmanlikeasmallGodonearth.Thesequalitiesof
the soul intellect, free will, conscience distinguish man from all other animals. The man who
properlyusesthesedivinegiftscanattainheightsofvirtue,andbecomelikeanangel,differingonly
inthathewillstillhaveabody.Hewillbeanangelintheflesh.Butthemanwhomisusesthesegifts
willfallintosin,becomecorrupt,bestial,demonic,andincarnatedevil.
Manhasasoul.Andbecausethissoulissoprecious,manshouldbeinfinitelymoreconcernedforits

wellbeingthanforthewellbeingofthebody.Sadly,however,mantodayhasturnedallhisattention
tohisbody,tothecorporealandmaterialneeds.Heconcernshimselfwiththebodyhowtomakeit
work better, how to make it live longer, how to make it enjoy every earthly pleasure. He talks of
everythingexceptthesoul.Itisasifthesouldoesnotexist.
Consider these two examples. A man takes ill. He is told that he can only be healed abroad, in
England orAmerica. Regardless of how poor he may be, this man will do whatever he can to get
there.Wedonotaccusethemanofbeingconcernedforhisbodyshealth.Butweask:Isitonlythe
bodythatgetssick?Isthesoulneverill?Arenottheevilsthatliveandbreedintheinnermostdepths
ofman,suchasgreed,lust,envy,hatred,andwrath,horriblediseases,moredreadfulthananythat
inflicttheflesh?Shouldnotthemanseekoutadoctorthatcancurehim?
ThereisglorytoGodsuchadoctor!Theonlysupreme,almightydoctorofsoulsandbodiesisour
LordJesusChrist.YoucanmeetthisdoctorinHisclinic.HisprivatesanitariumisHisholyChurch.
And yet the man who sacrifices everything to travel abroad for medical attention does not take a
single step towards the healing of his soul. Just think of how many are living without confession!
Everyeffortismadetohealthebody,yetnothingisdoneforthesoul.
Butthisbodywhichwehandlewithsuchcarewillonedayfadeawayanddie.And,likethebody,all
material things which the world admires are doomed to destruction. What will remain? A single
powerfulearthquakelastingonlyafewsecondscanlevelentirecities.Whatwillsurviveworldwide
destruction?Whatwillremain?Thesoulwillremain.AswillChristHewhocreatedit,Hewhowill
judgeit.
Imagine an enormous set scales, suspended from the stars, and visible all over the world. Imagine
thatononesideofthescalethematerialwealthoftheworldispiledhigh,andthatontheotherside
thereisonlyasinglesoul,notofagreatandfamousman,butofthepoorestandmostunfortunate
manoftheearth.Imaginethissoulislikeawingedangel,flyingtowardsthescale.Ifonlythetipof
itswingsbrushedthescale,itwouldtipthesoulsfervor,eventhoughalltherichesoftheworldwere
amassedontheotherside.Doesamangainanythingifhewinsthewholeworldbutloseshissoul?
Ofcoursenot!Thereisnothingamancangivetowinbackhissoul(Mark8:3637).
Themostimportantofallsubjects,then,isthesalvationofoursouls.Oursoulsmustbesaved.Woe
to the soul that is not saves. Eternal damnation awaits it.And so the Priest, immediately after the
beginningoftheDivineLiturgy,andbeforeanyotherpetitionadmonishesustoaskforthepeaceand
forthesalvationofoursouls:Forthepeacefromaboveandthesalvationofoursouls,letusprayto
thelord.

Abouttheseads

OrthodoxChristianLinks
AncientFaithRadio
DivineByzantineMusicProject
FOCUS
GreekOrthodoxArchdioceseofAmerica
Monachos
OrthodoxChristianNetwork
St.ElizabethConvent
St.VladimirsSeminaryPress
Twopartchants

St.PoementheGreat
Amanmayseemtobesilent,butifhisheartiscondemningothers,heisbabblingceaselessly.Buttheremaybeanother
whotalksfrommorningtillnightandyetheistrulysilent,thatis,hesaysnothingthatisnotprofitable.

St.GregorytheGreat
Everydayyouprovideyourbodieswithgoodtokeepthemfromfailing.Inthesamewayyourgoodworksshouldbe
thedailynourishmentofyourhearts.Yourbodiesarefedwithfoodandyourspiritswithgoodworks.Youarenttodeny
yoursoul,whichisgoingtoliveforever,whatyougranttoyourbody,whichisgoingtodie.

St.PaisiusVelichkovsky
Remember,Omysoul,theterribleandfrightfulwonder:thatyourCreatorforyoursakebecameMan,anddeignedto
sufferforthesakeofyoursalvation.Hisangelstremble,theCherubimareterrified,theSeraphimareinfear,andallthe
heavenlypowersceaselesslygivepraise;andyou,unfortunatesoul,remaininlaziness.Atleastfromthistimefortharise
anddonotputoff,mybelovedsoul,holyrepentance,contritionofheartandpenanceforyoursins.

St.TikhonofZadonsk
Prayerdoesnotconsistmerelyinstandingandbowingyourbodyorinreadingwrittenprayers.itispossibletoprayat
alltimes,inallplaces,withmindandspirit.YoucanliftupyourmindandhearttoGodwhilewalking,sitting,working,
inacrowdandinsolitude.Hisdoorisalwaysopen,unlikemans.WecanalwayssaytoHiminourheartsLord,Lord
havemercy.

St.JohnofKronstadt
ThecandleslitbeforetheiconsoftheTheotokosareasymbolofthefactthatSheistheMotheroftheUnapproachable
Light,andalsoofHermostpureandburningloveforGodandHerloveformankind.

CreateafreewebsiteorblogatWordPress.com.TheK2liteTheme.RSSEntriesandRSSComments

Follow