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The World Paseth Away

Fri­day. [I John 2:7–17; Mark 14:3–9] The world pas­seth away, and the lust there­of (I John 2:17). Who does not see this? Every­thing around us pass‐es away — things, peo­ple, events; and we our­selves are pass­ing away. World­ly lust also pass­es; we scarce‐ly taste the sweet­ness of its satisfac‐tion before both the lust and the sweet­ness dis­ap­pear. We chase af‐ter some­thing else, and it is the same; we chase after a third thing —again the same. Noth­ing stands still; every­thing comes and goes. What? Is there real­ly noth­ing con­stant?! There is, says the Apos­tle: he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (I John 2:17). How does the world, which is so tran­sient, endure? Be‐cause God so desires that the world endure. The will of God is the world’s unshake­able and indestruc‐tible foun­da­tion. It is the same a‐mong peo­ple — whoso­ev­er begins to stand firm­ly in the will of God is made stead­fast and firm at once. One’s thoughts are rest­less when chas­ing after some­thing tran­sient. But as soon as one comes to his sens­es and returns to the path of the will of God, his thoughts and inten‐tions begin to set­tle down. When at last one suc­ceeds in acquir­ing the habit for such a way of life, every‐thing he has, both with­in and with‐out, comes into qui­et har­mo­ny and serene order. Hav­ing begun here, this deep peace and imper­turbable seren­i­ty will pass over to the oth­er life as well, and there it will abide unto the ages. Amidst the gen­er­al tran­sience of things around us, this is what is not tran­sient, and what is con­stant with­in us: walk­ing in the will of God.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse