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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