Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
You asked me three questions, namely: What’s the greatest thought worthy of man? What’s the greatest concern worthy of man? And what’s the greatest waiting worthy of man?
To think about the care of God for the life of man is the greatest thought worthy of man.
To take care of the salvation of your soul is the greatest concern worthy of man.
To wait death is the greatest waiting worthy of man.
How should you think about the care of God in the life of man? You must take as a measure the moral law of God. Following this measure, watch what happens in the life of the men you know and have relationships with. This is not always easy, because the reasons are sometimes far and hidden in the remote past of a man and some other times are found only in his parents ‘life. Christian confession is based on the revelation of these reasons. The psalmist says to God: I will meditate on your percepts and I will know your ways…Oh, how I loved your Law, God! I meditate on it all day long. For the commandments of God are at the base of everything it happens to the sons of Adam. And the law of God is a light which enlightens what happens to someone.
How should you take care of the salvation of your soul? In order not to enumerate all, read the Gospel and ask the Church. Man has no other greatest asset on earth than his own soul. And exactly this greatest asset is the only one which can save him from death. All the rest, which is not human but belongs to man and is highly valued and treasured by him inevitably dies.
The soul of man is in the eyes of God a more precious thing than the entire material world, according to the word of Christ: What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Thus there cannot be any greater concern worthy of man than the concern for the salvation of his soul.
How should death be waited? As the soldier in war. Or as the student who prepares carefully, waiting for his teacher to call him at any moment and to listen to him. The Savior reminded us about the ceaseless remembrance of death in the parable about the rich who was making new barns for himself and expected to live a long life on earth, but he was suddenly told: You, fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
Why is the thought about the care of God for the life of people the greatest thought worthy of man? Because it brings wisdom and happiness to man.
Why is the concern for the salvation of our soul the greatest one worthy of man? Because the soul is the greatest asset on earth and it’s natural to have the greatest concern for the greatest asset.
Why is the waiting of death the greatest waiting worthy of man? Because the waiting of death cleanses the conscience and impels man to do good deeds. When a diligent and kind man was asked once what drove him more in his life towards painstaking and good standing, he answered: death.
These three things cannot be noticed at animals. They are specific only for man and for the highest type of man. All the rest is common for man and animal.
Peace and blessing from God!
Source Bishop Nikolai Velimirovici Answers to questions of the world of nowadays, volume I, Sophia Publishing House, Bucharest, 2002