2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

God-Pleasing Sacrifice

[Heb. 11:17–23, 27–31; Mark 9:42–10:1] Every one shall be salt­ed with fire, and every sac­ri­fice shall be salt­ed with salt. Before this the Lord said that one must be pre­pared for all sorts of sac­ri­fice and all deeds of self-denial, only to stand on the good path. Though these sac­ri­fices are dear to us, like our own eye, or indis­pens­able like our right hand, we must offer them with­out a mo­ men­t’s hes­i­ta­tion; for if you grudge offer­ing such a sac­ri­fice, and are lead away because of this from the right path to the wrong, you will be forced to suf­fer eter­nal­ly in the fu­ ture life. So, offer painful and sor­ row­ful sac­ri­fice here to avoid tor­ ments there. With­out purifi­ca­tion by fire here one can­not be saved from the eter­nal fire. Every­one de­ sir­ing to be saved must be salt­ed with fire, and pass through purifica­ tion by fire. All of us, by the law of our cre­ation, must offer our­selves in sac­ri­fice to God; but every one of us is impure. That means we must puri­fy our­selves, so that from us will be made a sac­ri­fice pleas­ing to God. But if you start to puri­fy your­ self, unearth pas­sions from your soul, it will be painful, like being burned with fire. This oper­a­tion of inner self-purifi­ca­tion is like the op­ era­tion of fire puri­fy­ing met­al. Met­ al is with­out feel­ing. If you were to give it feel­ing, it would feel the puri­ fying and the burn­ing simulta­ neous­ly. The same thing occurs in a per­son who puri­fies him­self. Under­ going this oper­a­tion he is as if burned through by fire. The purify­ ing fire pass­es through all of the parts of his body like salt pen­e­trates a body which is being salt-pre­ served. And only he who sub­jects him­self to this oper­a­tion is a tru­ly God-pleas­ing sac­ri­fice; that is why it is nec­es­sary for every­one to be salt­ ed with fire, as in the Old Testa­ ment, where every sac­ri­fice was salt­ed before offer­ing it as a whole burnt offering.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse