2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

The Lord Blessed the Poor

[Phil. 1:27–2:4; Luke 6:17–23] The Lord bless­es the poor, those who hunger and weep, and the per­ secut­ed under the con­di­tion that it is all for the sake of the Son of Man; this means that He bless­es a life which is sur­round­ed by every kind of need and depri­va­tion. Accord­ing to this say­ing, plea­sures, ease, hon­ our are not some­thing good; this is the way it is indeed. But while a per­son rests in these things, he does not real­ize this. Only when he frees him­self from their spell does he see that they are not the good, but only phan­toms. A soul can­not do with­out con­so­la­tions, but they are not of the sens­es; it can­not do with­out trea­ sures, but they are not in gold and sil­ver, not in lux­u­ri­ous hous­es and clothes, not in this exter­nal full­ness; it can­not get by with­out hon­or, but it lies not in human ser­vil­i­ty. There are oth­er plea­sures, there is oth­er ease, oth­er hon­our — spir­i­tu­al, akin to the soul. He who finds them does not want the exter­nal ones; not only does he not want them, but he scorns and hates them because they block off the spir­i­tu­al, do not allow one to see it, they keep a soul in dark­ness, drunk­en­ness, and phan­ toms. This is why such peo­ple pre­ fer with all their soul pover­ty, sor­ row and obscu­ri­ty, feel­ing good with­in them, like behind some safe fence against the spell of the decep­ tions of the world. What about those peo­ple who have all these things with­out try­ing? They should relate to all of these things, accord­ing to the word of the holy Apos­tle, as one who pos­sess­es not (cf. 1Cor. 7:30).

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse