Thursday, June 3, 2010

What do we really mean when we pray for the peace of the world?

Too many Christians, of both the Orthodox Church and the various heterodox confessions, believe that when we pray for peace, we are referring to cessation of wars and the kind of brotherly love that would make Rodney King proud. Not so! Our Lord makes it very clear that the peace we seek in our Litanies at Liturgy or other office is NOT the peace of this world, but the Peace only He can bring. St.
Nikolai Velimirovch says the following about peace and, also, prosperity:

Does peace kill? Yes, godless peace kills. Does prosperity destroy? Yes, prosperity without God and contrary to the laws of God can destroy. Simple are they who seek such a peace and they who run after such prosperity are fools. For, in essence, they do not seek peace but rather the sword and are not running after prosperity but rather after destruction. What is the peace of the simple and what is the prosperity of fools? The peace of the simple is physical peace and the prosperity of fools is physical feasting. King Herod wanted such a peace and he was consumed by worms. Jezebel wanted such a prosperity and dogs consumed her.

By what name would we call a man who, in deciding to build a house, thinks that he will place the roof in the air first and afterward erect walls and then lay the foundation of the house? We would call him a simpleton and a fool. Much the same are all those who are attempting to establish peace in the world without interior peace and to establish exterior prosperity for men without interior prosperity. The Christian Faith is the only one which builds from the foundation and the foundation is Christ, a firm and indestructible rock. Thus, the Christian Faith for the peace and prosperity of men builds on Christ. An internal, blessed and joyful peace is built on Christ the Lord and on this peace, external peace is built. So also is true and lasting prosperity. It is still better to say that true peace and true prosperity is like a well-built house and external peace and prosperity are like the external adornments of the house. However, if the adornments fall, the house will stand but if the house is destroyed, will the adornments then hang in the air?

O my brethren, the Christian teaching is the only reasonable teaching about peace and prosperity. All else is madness and foolishness. For, how could the servants build a mansion on the estate of the Master without permission of the Master and without His help?

O Lord, the source of eternal true peace and true prosperity, save us from the peace of the simple and the prosperity of fools.

1 comment:

  1. So often people speak of being moved by quotations from the Saints, yet when I read them, I remain unmoved and wonder what the fuss is about. I am often moved and inspired by the some that I come across in my own reading. Yet this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.