Tikhon of Zadonsk: This healing plaster of the Gospel is applied to your wounded souls Thursday, Oct 27 2016 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskTo whom is the Gospel preached?

Christ answers us, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for Whose sake He hath anointed Me to preach to the poor, He hath sent Me to heal the broken hearted” (Lk.4:18).

In other words, to those people who, acknowledging their sins, see their poverty, misfortune, and wretchedness, and have a contrite heart with fear of God’s judgement and sorrow, to them the Gospel is rightly preached as a healing plaster is applied to a wounded body.

Hear, you sorrowful and contrite souls, hear the most sweet voice of the Gospel! “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost!”

This healing plaster of the Gospel most sweet is applied to your wounded souls. By this saving medicine heal your broken hearts. “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

He seeks you and saves you, because you are one of those that He came to seek. Accept and confess yourselves to be sinners before God. Your sins are also forgiven for Christ’s name’s sake.

Repent of your sins and lament for God, for salvation is prepared for you, too, by God. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).

The Holy Spirit speaks to you through His servant, “The sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit, a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise” (LXX-Ps. 50:19 [KJV-Ps. 51:17]).

This sacrifice is offered to God from a repentant and contrite heart and is more acceptable to Him than any other offering. God looks mercifully upon such a sacrifice and sends His grace down upon it.

And so you see, O Christian, that the Gospel is not intended for those Christians who…do not recognize their sins, poverty and misfortune, and do not have a contrite heart. For of what use is oil to a rock? A plaster is applied to a wound, and healing is given to him who recognizes and admits his weakness.

To such people is it said, “Repent, be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy into heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (Jas. 4:9-10).

[…] Sinners! Let us fear the judgement of God and endeavor to have a contrite and humble heart, that we also may draw from the Gospel as from a saving font of living water of refreshment and consolation, and that we may water our souls and so receive everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004).

Tikhon of Zadonsk: “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost” Wednesday, May 25 2016 

Tikhon_of_Zadonsk“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10). This is the exceedingly sweet voice of the Gospel.

[…] But let us see what the Gospel is, and what it requires of us, and to whom it is rightly preached.

From its very name the Gospel is the gladdest of tidings. To all the world it preaches Christ the Saviour of the world Who came to seek out and to save the lost.

Listen all you lost sinners, listen to that exceedingly sweet voice of the Gospel! It cries out to us all, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

It is a fearful thing for us to be found in sin before God. The Gospel preaches that our sins are forgiven for Christ’s name’s sake and that Christ is our justification before God.

In Thee, my Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, am I justified. Thou art my truth and enlightenment.

It is a fearful thing for us to be found at enmity with God. The Gospel preaches that Christ has reconciled us to God, and having come He preached peace to all near and far.

A fearful thing for us is the curse of the Law, for we are all sinners; it subjects the sinner to both temporal and eternal punishment. The Gospel preaches that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become the curse for us.

A fearful thing for us is death. The Gospel preaches that Christ is our resurrection and life.

A fearful thing for us are Gehenna and hell. The Gospel preaches that Christ delivered us from hell and all its calamities.

It is a fearful thing for us to be separated from God. The Gospel preaches that we shall be with the Lord always in His eternal Kingdom.

This, blessed Christians, is the most sweet voice of the Gospel, “Taste,” then, “and see that the Lord is good” (LXX Psalm 33:9 [KJV Psalm 34:8]).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned” (John 3:16-18).

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn salvation for us in the house of His servant David” (Luke 1:68-69).

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

Tikhon of Zadonsk: The word of God is given by God so that everyone who desires to be saved may receive salvation through it Friday, Aug 21 2015 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskLove the Word of God, that is the Scriptures, handed down to us by the prophets and apostles, as God Himself.

For the word of God is the word of God’s mouth. If you love God, then without fail you will love the word of God also.

For the word of God is God’s epistle or letter to us unworthy ones, and is His supreme gift to us for the sake of our salvation.

If you love the Sender, then also love the letter which is sent from Him to you.

For the word of God is given by God to me, to you, and to everyone, so that everyone who desires to be saved may receive salvation through it.

You love it when an earthly king writes you a letter, and you read it with love and joy. How much more must we read the letter of the Heavenly King with love and joy.

The word of God was not given to you so that it should lay written only on paper, but so that we may use it spiritually, that we may be enlightened and guided in the true way and salvation, that our morals may be corrected, and that we may live according to its rule in this world, and that we may please God.

If you wish, therefore, to be a true Christian, then without fail you must take care to live by its rule.

For the word of God is a heavenly seed. It must, then, yield fruit in us after its kind, that is a holy and heavenly life, otherwise it will accuse us on the day of the fearful Judgement of Christ.

Live, therefore, as the word of God teaches, and then correct yourself. Do not pry idly into the mysteries.

Of the mystery of the All-Holy Trinity, the Most-Holy Eucharist, and other such things that are not revealed to us in the holy word of God, do not inquire idly, lest you fall into the snare of the devil and be tangled in it, and not be able to escape from thence, and so perish.

For that which requires faith alone transcends our reasoning, and it is very dangerous to pry into these things. Keep yourself, then, from prying into things which are above you.

Believe in all things as the Holy Scriptures teach, and as the Holy Church believes and establishes in accordance with it.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

Tikhon of Zadonsk: God is everywhere and in every place, and the doors to Him are always open Wednesday, Jul 15 2015 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskLiving faith is inspired in the human heart by contemplation of the word of God and by the Holy Spirit.

For this reason we should read and heed the word of God and pray that God Himself ignite the lamp of faith in our heart.

The fear of God arises most often from contemplation of the omnipresence of God and His omniscience.

God is in essence everywhere present; and wherever we may be, He is with us; and whatever we may do, say, think, and undertake, we do, say, think, and undertake all before His holy eyes.

And He knows our deeds far better than we do ourselves. Think about this, O Christian, and heed it, and with God’s help the fear of God will be born in you.

[…] Keep God, then, before your spiritual eyes and you will have the fear of God, imitating the Psalmist, “I beheld the Lord ever before me” (Ps. 15:8).

[…] While standing in church attend diligently to the reading and singing. This gives birth to compunction, true prayer, heartfelt singing and thanksgiving.

Avoid, then, standing bodily in church while wandering outside the church in mind, and standing bodily before God while wandering about in spirit in worldly affairs, lest that saying be applied to you, “his people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” (Mt. 15:8).

While standing bodily in church, then, stand with heart and spirit as you stand before God. When you look upon the icons of the saints, call to mind that One is the Creator that created them and you, and that His purpose was the same for them as it is for you, that is, to save both them and you.

They are glorified, and before you lies the same glory, only imitate their lives and you shall be saved.

Prayer consists not only in standing and bowing before God in body, and in reading written prayers, but even without that it is possible to pray in mind and spirit at all times and in everyplace.

You can do it while walking, sitting, reclining, among people, and in solitude. Raise up your mind and heart to God, and so beg mercy and help from Him.

For God is everywhere and in every place, and the doors to Him are always open, and it is easy to approach Him, not as with man.

And we can approach Him with faith and with our prayer everywhere and at all times, and in every need and circumstance. We can say to Him mentally at any time, “Lord, have mercy, Lord help!” and so on.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

Tikhon of Zadonsk: Remember Your Unseen Benefactor Everywhere and Always with Love Wednesday, Feb 19 2014 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskTake care not to forget your Benefactor when you enjoy His benefactions, lest you appear ungrateful to Him; for forgetfulness of a benefactor is a clear sign of ingratitude.

God is your creator, deliverer, supreme benefactor, and good provider.

He created you just as He gives you every good thing, since without His goodness you could not live even for a minute.

You do not see your Benefactor with these eyes, but you see the benefits He has given you.

You see the sun, the moon and His stars which illumine you.

You see the fire that warms you and cooks your food.

You see the food which satisfies you, you see the clothing by which your naked body is covered.

You see all other countless blessings which He gave you for your needs and comfort.

Seeing, then, and receiving these benefits, remember your unseen Benefactor everywhere and always with love, and thank Him for all His benefits with a pure heart.

The greatest and highest of all His blessings is that by His good will Christ, His Only-Begotten Son, came to us and redeemed us by His precious Blood and suffering from the devil, hell, and death.

In this work He showed us His unspeakable goodness to us. We must, then, always gaze with faith upon this great work of God so incomprehensible to the mind, and remember God Who so loved us unworthy ones.

We must thank Him from our whole heart, worship Him, praise, hymn, and glorify Him with our heart and lips.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David” (Lk. 1:68-69).

You, too, should always remember this great work of God and marvel at it, and thank God from your heart, and live as it pleases God, Who came into the world to save sinners, lest you offend Him with your ingratitude.

He desires to save you, since He came into the world for your sake, and suffered and died in His holy flesh. You should fulfil His holy will, then, and take care for the salvation of your soul with all diligence.

Be thankful to Him, and live in the world humbly, with love, meekly and patiently, as He Himself lived. He also desires the same of you.

Endeavor to please God with faith and obedience, that is, do what He desires and what is pleasing to Him, and do not do what He does not desire and what is not pleasing to Him. Without obedience, whatever a man may do is not pleasing to God.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

Tikhon of Zadonsk: Every Occasion and Thing Can Inspire You to a Loving Remembrance of the Lord Your God Saturday, Nov 23 2013 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskEverywhere and in every endeavor remember the Lord your God and His holy love for us.

Everything that you may see in heaven and on earth and in your house awakens you to the remembrance of the Lord your God and His holy love.

We are enveloped in God’s love. Every creature of God bears witness to His love for us.

When you see God’s creation and make use of it, say to yourself thus: This is the work of the hands of the Lord my God, and it was created for my sake.

[…] This word, the Sacred Scripture which I hear, is the word of God, it is the word of His mouth.

The mouth of my Lord spoke this, and through it my God speaks to me, “The law of Thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver” (LXX Ps. 118:72).

O Lord, grant me ears to hear Thy holy word. This holy house, the church in which I stand, is the temple of God in which prayer and glorification are offered up to my God in common from the faithful, my brethren.

These voices, this glorification and common prayer are those voices by which hymns, thanksgiving, praise and glorification are sent up to the holy name of my God.

This consecrated man, the bishop or priest, is the closest servant of my God, who offers prayers to Him for me a sinner and for all the world.

This man, the preacher of the word of God, is the messenger of my God, who makes known the way of salvation to me and to the rest of the people my brethren.

This brother of mine, every man, is the beloved creature of my God, and like myself is a creature created after the image and likeness of God.

And having fallen he was redeemed, like myself, by the Blood of the Son of God my Saviour, and is called to everlasting life by the Word of God.

I must love him as the beloved creature of my God, love him as I love myself. And I must not do to him anything that I myself do not love, and I must do to him what I desire for myself, for that is what my God commanded me.

In a word, every occasion and every thing can and must inspire you to a loving remembrance of the Lord your God, and must show you His love toward you, since even His chastisement comes from His love toward us.

According to the Scripture, “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth” (Heb. 12:6). Remember, then, everywhere and on every occasion and in all things, the name of the Lord your God.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004)

Tikhon of Zadonsk: The True Lover of Christ Cleaves to Him in His Heart and Uncomplainingly Endures the Cross with Him Tuesday, Oct 15 2013 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskThe true lover of God keeps God ever in mind, and His love toward us and His benefactions. We see this even in human love, for we often remember the one we love.

So whoever loves God remembers Him, thinks of Him, and finds consolation in Him, and is enrapt in Him.

For wherever his treasure is, there his heart is also (Mt. 6:21). To him the priceless and most beloved treasury is God.

Therefore his heart also holds itself inseparably before Him. Whence it is that he also remembers His holy name often and with love.

For the heart filled with the love of God reveals outward signs of love. From this we see that those who forget God do not love Him, for forgetfulness is a manifest sign of no love for God.

The lover can never forget his beloved. One who loves, desires never to be separated from the one he loves.

Many Christians desire to be with Christ the Lord when He is glorified, but they do not wish to be with Him in dishonor and reproach, nor to carry their cross.

They entreat Him that they may come into His Kingdom, but they do not wish to suffer in the world, and thereby they show that their heart is not right and that they do not truly love Christ.

And to tell the truth, they love themselves more than Christ. For this reason the Lord says, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Mt. 10:38). A true friend is known in misfortune.

He is our true friend and one who loves us who does not forsake us in misfortune.

Likewise the true lover of Christ is he who abides with Christ in this world, and cleaves to Him in his heart, and uncomplainingly endures the cross with Him, and desires to be with Him inseparably in the age to come.

Such a one says unto Christ, “It is good for me to cleave unto God” (LXX Ps. 72:28).

A sign of the love of God is love for neighbor. He who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. He who loves the lover loves what is loved by him. The source of love for neighbor is love for God, but the love of God is known from love for neighbor.

[…] These are the signs of love for God hidden in the heart of a man. Dear Christians, let us repent and turn away from the vanity of the world, and cleanse our hearts with repentance and contrition, that the love of God may abide in us.

“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 Jn. 4:16).
Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki  from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .

Tikhon of Zadonsk: Love of God Cannot Exist Within the Heart Without Joy Tuesday, Jun 18 2013 

Tikhon_of_ZadonskBut let us see what the signs of love for God are, so that we may not have a false dream of love instead of love itself. In nothing does a man deceive himself so much as in love.

[…] God Himself indicates this, saying, “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me” (Jn. 14:21).

For the true lover of God will preserve himself from everything that is repugnant to God, and hastens to fulfil everything that is pleasing to God. Wherefore he keeps His holy commandments.

From this it follows that those Christians that neglect the commandments have no love for God…. They love themselves and their own appetites, but not God or His holy Law.

A manifest sign of love for God is a heartfelt gladness in God, for we rejoice in what we love.

Likewise love of God cannot exist without joy, and whenever a man feels the sweetness of the love of God within his heart, he rejoices in God.

For so sweet a virtue as love cannot be felt without joy. As honey sweetens our throat when we taste of it, so the love of God makes our heart glad when we taste and see that the Lord is good (LXX Ps. 33:9).

Such joy in God is found in many places in Holy Scriptures, and is portrayed most of all in the holy Psalms. This joy is spiritual and heavenly, and is a foretaste of the sweetness of eternal life.

The true lover of God disdains the world and all that is in the world, and strives toward God, his most beloved. He counts honor, glory, riches, and all the comforts of this world which the sons of this age seek, as nothing.

For him only God, the uncreated and most beloved good, suffices. In Him alone he finds perfect honor, glory, riches and comfort. For him God alone is the pearl without price, for the sake of which he holds everything else as little. Such a one desires nothing in heaven or on earth besides God.

Such love is portrayed in the very words of the Psalter, “For what have I in heaven? And besides Thee what have I desired upon earth? My heart and my flesh have failed, O God of my heart, and God is my portion forever” (LXX Ps. 72:25).

He uses food, drink, clothing, and everything else only as needful, and not for sensual pleasure. From this it follows that whoever loves the world does not love God. According to the witness of the Apostle, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:15).

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki   from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004) .