Saint Nicholas Velimirovich
These words encapsulate all the efforts we must make here in the world, on earth, with our earthly, natural body. What meaning should our labor have and what should be its aim? The acquisition of two habits: first, to avoid evil; and second, to do good.
We’re told by our conscience what’s good and what’s evil, but only in part and not clearly, because it’s darkened by sin. On the other hand, as regards what’s good and what’s bad, the teaching of Christ, speaks fully and plainly to us.
My brothers and sisters, what is it that Christ wants of us?
He requires that, just as the sanctuary of our churches always faces east, so, too, should our souls always look towards the good. We must leave evil behind us, in the shadows; we must leave evil in the abyss of oblivion; we must leave evil in the darkness of the past. We must reach out to the good; we must think about the good; we must long for the good; we must talk about the good; and we must do what is good.
Christ wants builders, not destroyers. If you build what’s good, at the same time, by the same action, you destroy what’s bad. If, however, you set out to destroy what’s bad, you’ll soon forget how to build what’s good and you’ll become an evil-doer. Christ’s apostle teaches us: ‘Hate wickedness and cleave to what is good (Rom. 12, 9). Hate evil, but not the person who does evil, because they’re unwell. If you can, heal such sick people, but don’t kill them with your hatred. Cleave to the good and to that alone, because good flows from God and he’s the Ark of everything good.
Good and all-merciful Lord, teach us to avoid evil and to do good, for the sake of your glory and our own salvation. For to you are due all praise and worship unto the ages. Amen.