Saint Nicholas Velimirovich


Punishment and reward. Both of these are in the hands of God. But just as life on earth is no more than a shadow of that in heaven, by the same token, punishment and reward are merely a shadow of the real punishment and reward of eternity.

The main persecutors of Saint John Chrysostom were Patriarch Theofilos of Alexandria and Empress Evdoxia. After Chrysostom’s death as a martyr, bitter punishment awaited both of them. Theofilos became possessed by demons, while Evdoxia quickly succumbed to an incurable disease – her body became covered in sores from which worms emerged. The stench given off by her body was so appalling that it was unbearable for people just passing the house where she was staying.

The doctors used the most powerful aromatics and sweet-smelling incense to mask the dreadful smell of the evil empress, but to no avail. In the end, Evdoxia did in filth and agony. Even after her death, God’s hand fell heavy upon her. The coffin holding her rotted body shook, day and night, for thirty years. It stopped only when the Emperor Theodosios effected the translation of the relics of Saint John to Constantinople.

But, on the other hand, see what happened to Saint John after his demise. Reward. Just reward, such as only God can give. The Arab bishop, Adeltios, who had received the exiled Chrysostom into his house in Cucusus, prayed to God, after the saint’s death, to reveal where his soul was. The response came while he was at prayer. It was almost as if he were outside himself and a young man bathed in light was taking him to heaven. One by one he showed him the hierarchs, shepherds and teachers of the Church, naming them one by one- but John was not among them. Later God’s angel took Adeltios to the way out of Paradise and the latter returned to his normal state. When the angel asked him why he was sad, Adeltios replied that he was distressed not to have seen his beloved teacher. The angel explained: “No person still robed in the flesh may see him, because he is at the throne of God with the Cherubim and Seraphim”.




Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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