1. In the days of the Saviour two disasters occurred that killed people and which Savior Himself explained to them as signs. Pilate had killed some Galileans, and “mixed the blood with their sacrifices.” When this fact was made known to Jesus, he said: “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. “(Luke 13) That is: They were sinners, and therefore have suffered. But they were not worse sinners than all of you. This is for you a sign from God to repent quickly. If you will not understand and you will not receive the sign, so too will all perish.
2. The second evil had not come through hands, but through the collapse of the tower of Siloam. On that occasion perished eighteen people of Jerusalem. According to Christ, would be a mistake to believe that “they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem. I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”(Luke 13) So, again a sign to people. According to Theophylact of Ohrid, “They’re put to death for us to change ourselves, if we change, will on us an even greater tragedy.”
3. A sign similar for those free of law is the death of Herod. Uploaded evil, Herod, instead of humble his pride, more conceited with pride. And once, when he sat on the throne and the people began to speak great things, “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.” (Acts 12:23) Here it is the sign of God for all haughty and unbelievers. Woe to you, haughty people who do not give God what is God’s all likewise perish unless you repent!
4. A sign was the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira, who have lied the apostle Peter. By this signal, the Most High wanted to remind young Christian Churches that they have to walk the path of pure truth. (Acts 5)
5. Sending the Apostles into the world for preaching, Christ said: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”(Mark 16:17-18) All this happened during church history until today, through the holy and righteous followers of Christ. And these signs – these signs – gave witness that the awaited Messiah really came into the world and other should not be expected.
6. When the Jews demanded a sign from heaven, the Lord gave answer: “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’ and in the morning: ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”(Matt. 16:2-3) This means that hardened sinners knew to guess the signs of nature, but signs of God – Christ’s miracles, did not know.
7. The Jews spoke against Christ that He banishes demons from people, apparently, with the help of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. When he answered properly, the Lord said: “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matt. 12:28) And because the Lord banish demons with the spirit of God, His works have served as a strong indication that indeed the Kingdom of Heaven came to people.
8. All Christ’s miracles were signs that He came, so long predicted and expected, and that the kingdom of God came with Him and through Him. Christ relied on His miracles as on signs faithful enough to reveal messianic personality when John, in prison of Herod sent his disciples to him to ask him: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and say to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”(Matt. 11:5)
9. And animals can serve as a sign to man. When the rooster crowed, Peter wept. The rooster song was a sign of his sin. And a donkey served as a sign for Balaam, who had started to speak against God, the One, the True One.
10. Star of the East was a sign that a new king was born.
11. We often meet in a lucky hour a man who, even unwittingly, chases away the clouds from our soul, solving a problem of our intimate. We often hear in society a useful word, we often suddenly utter a word that is useful to those who listen us. Or we received a letter from someone, just when we needed. Or, trapped in the fabric of life, desperate meditate with our small mind how to unravel all these, until, suddenly, something happens and solves our impasse. So, the meeting, and the word, and letter, and chance – all are signs of punishment, or a sign to become wiser, or a sign of encouragement, or an exhortation to repentance.
(St. Nikolai Velimirovic – Symbols and signs)
A year ago I received from my godmother the book “My Life in Christ” by St. John of Kronstadt. It’s a great book, a book that should not miss. St. John had a divine life and faced many things during, and he talks so easily and honestly about all aspects of life. Last night I found something nice in his book:
“There is, Christian brother, a true life, real, and another one apparent, false. To live to drink and eat, to dress, walk, to get rich, generally, to live for pleasure and earthly concerns, or devises intrigues, to judge and gossip about others… this is an apparent life.
To live to please God and to serve others, to pray for the salvation of their souls, helping them in every way to be saved, this is what it means a real life. The first way of life is a continued spiritual death, the second one is a relentless spirit alive. “
I believe that a life in pleasures is an apparent one because pleasures are passing. We want to satisfy this desire of eternal happiness with our evanescent things, with temporal things. Only man is eternal.
Staniloaie Father says: “The joy comes only from the relationship with people and with God”, the rest are not true joys, tangible and imperishable, but are inconsistent, melt quickly, quickly disappear. So are apparent.
A fellow from work, a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy taught me that true is only what never changes, never goes away. Neither laws of physics are not true because they happen in 99% of cases in everyday life, but there were times when did not happen, there were miracles. So there were times when they were not checked so they were untrue.
So the truth is what stands forever, which never fails.
Jesus said: I am the Way, Truth and Life. (In, 14.6)
The truth is personal. Truth is God.
God, my poor heart loves You, I want to tell you all my thoughts, everything I feel, to be with me when my poor heart calls You. God, I dare to say everything I feel and what I want, and know that You know me better than anyone, better than myself. You know the deepest places of my soul, the deepest thoughts, You know my poor heart and its beats.
You, God, you can make me clean, get me up, wipe my tears, help me to be gentle and be able to smile … God, my poor heart loves You and my entire sinful soul sighs for You.
My Good, I want You to forgive me for everything I do not know, when I’m wrong and Your voice always to be heard in my conscience.
I pray Thee, Christ God to get us all in Your Kingdom, to be with You, to praise You forever. My Lord, take us to You all of us, as thou wilt. I have done nothing good before Thee, but souls sighs for Your holy love.
My Lord, forgive us now as we also forgive one another, and teach us to love with Your love, give us comfort … forgive, Good everlasting love …
What sweet peace enfolds me!…What caressing silence!…What rays of light trapped in crowns of rainbow! O Lord, You are here! My good and holy God! I feel Your steps touching the paths of my soul… and behind them is so much light! It’s a trail of rainbow …
You cease for a moment near my whirling springs, stare at them, then take white lily petals from the hand of an angel and sprinkle them one by one, and smile. Then sprinkle all at once and water mirrors your happy face by another victory. You go forward through the garden of my heart like a breeze … You revive all the flowers of my tired soul from passions, worries, fears.
You understanding watch at trees with heavy branches, but unripe crops; … and Your gentle light and Your warmth gives them comforting aroma and color and taste. Your eyes search the stars on the sky of my soul. With a translucence touch you uncurtain heavy of fears and regrets and show me the light of Shiner … and that of the morning one…
How beautiful are the night`s shiners when you’re with me, my Lord!
How blue is the dawn that You put before me drawing my flight to you!
Oh! My Light, my Silence, my dearest Love, Jesus! Stay on forever in the garden of my heart! I can’t stop missing you. Stay! … I have so much to tell you … and my heart would want to whisper them in the most sweet quiet and secret, keeping silent and beating for You with love from Your Love. Forgive her that trembles when feels Your presence! Forgive her when bends its eyes cause by so much light. Forgive it when melts hearing your words. Oh, my dear Lord! Your word, Your words, embalm my whole being! Wrapp as the Light! They overcome and kneel me forever!
It’s so quiet in Heaven! … I keep silence … my heart is silent … and listens to a docile murmur …
I know, Lord! It is the ocean of Your Love that buzzing for my soul that is so weak, which Your Love and Mercy makes powerful and victorious!
Thank you! … This is all I can humming with my lips. It is all I can do now… My heart filled with You can do more. Listen … it talks … I do not know what it is saying … All I know: that it loves You, my dear Lord!
(Mariana L. )
Nothing in life is accidental. God arranges everything as He desires and to match our needs, so that no step in our life is without importance. I convinced myself of this after I started to believe in miracles. Not because until then I didn’t, but I had a rather superficial belief, I used to amaze myself at hearing about them, but I didn’t see them as being a part of my own life.
However, life has proven me the opposite….
In time, as I got closer to God, He, from His great goodness, filled every day in my life with a lot of beautiful things, and all that without me even asking for them. He gave me wonders I didn’t expect. And what’s really amazing is that I bumped into them every single day.
My life had taken a great turn, I started to feel God and His Mother near me in every single moment, They helped me when I called for them. Later, I became even more courageous, and I let myself guided by His will, asking Him to place my steps towards the righteous way. I really couldn’t describe the deep peace which started to harbor in my soul, and the sweetness that was in my heart in those moment of godly happiness.
Not a lot of time passed and I started to ask him some things which before I thought they were impossible. And, indeed, no prayer, no desire was ignored. Whether I asked for an earthly thing, or for one of the soul, I would immediately receive it. I only needed to call His name in faith, and the wonder would take place. I didn’t think I was capable of some things, I used to see me powerless in their face, but God’s mercy came to help me.
A very special place in my soul was occupied by the wonders of the Holy Virgin, to whom I always ran when I had problems. These are really indescribable. There were too many and too beautiful (and they still are) to be able to include them in a few words. I thought that some day I would write a book about this. But what’s sure is that She, from Her infinite love, saved me both from despair and from trouble, and from my powerlessness and even from that for many times.
A few words, while crying, spoken before her Holy Icon made me receive Her help, which I desired so much, but deserved so little. I know for sure that many are those who felt the help of our Good Empress in many moments of their lives.
Today I accustomed myself to the wonders, to “the impossible” that can come true in any moment. Because, “to God, everything is possible.” His infinite mercy which he sends us in every moment and unconditionally in our lives never ceases to amaze me.
Many times, I throw an eye at the past and I see my life differently. It’s as if my mind is open and now I understand why things went that way and not differently. And today I can see many “simple questions” as something really special, that brought a change in my life. I convinced myself of one thing: wonders existed, exist and will exist as long as we show faith, obedience and love towards God, our Creator.
Every man’s life is full of wonders, but in order to feel them we need to see God’s will in everything, His infinite power with which He works in our lives, for our salvation.
Let’s keep our eyes open, because it is in these miraculous events that we can get to know God, Who is always present in our lives. Because He is our Life…
Translated by Costin Matei