After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


By the Waters of Babylon

from Internet Sobor February 15, 2015 archives

Metropolitan Filaret: By the rivers of Babylon

Author: m.Rafaila incl. . Posted in Archive ROCA (Views: 19)

Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) .jpgAs soon as Lent approaches, more and more appear in the liturgy special prayers, which the Church as it brings, prepares us for the lean times of prayer, fasting and repentance.
When was the week of the Publican and Pharisee, on the eve of the Church sang the song of repentance - "Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life", and the next - last - Saturday, then added another Prayer, which was sung today. This is - one of the psalms of the Psalter of David, which begins with the words: "By the rivers of Babylon, and tamo sedohom plakahom, vnegda us to remember Zion."
Even last year before last and had me talk about the importance of the songs in our New Testament worship, but not all are likely to remember it and do not have all heard, so I remind you once again.
First of all, in this psalm is commemorated a certain point of the sacred history, which indicate the words taken from him: "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day Ierusaliml saying, depleted, exhausted to the grounds of his." These words point to the tragedy that the people of Israel survived when the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the invaders - the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and the people of Israel were carried captive to distant rivers of Babylon.
Ready to meet and reflect the Conqueror, Israel has enlisted the help of a kindred tribe Edomites, the descendants of Esau, "the sons of Edom." They promised the Jewish nation alliance, help and support. And here, in this psalm specifies how treacherously they changed what these traitors were "sons of Edom in the day of Jerusalem" - that terrible day that was so memorable Jerusalem - the enemies, cruel and merciless, destroying the holy city, and " the sons of Edom, "instead of the promised aid, shouting:" depleted, exhausted to the grounds of its ", ie destroy it to its foundations ...
To whom was then defeated the Israelites complain? Who could they tell their sorrow and suffering? From antiquity comes to us old expression "woe to the vanquished." No one to seek protection and assistance defeated the Israelites. And now, for the Lord they turn, saying: "Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day Ierusaliml" - do not forget, O Lord, in thy justice that terrible day in Jerusalem, when such a terrible betrayal carried out by those who promised to be our allies ...
"Woe to the vanquished." So it was then. This is what happens now.
When was the last terrible war, and some were victorious, while others were losers, the winners declared losers "war criminals", although those as vigorously and courageously fought for their country, as the winners for their. It was not until "world wars" when the conquerors were able to respect the courage and bravery of the vanquished, did not call them criminals and prosecute.
This is similar to the fact, in some countries is "revolutionary mess": a system is replaced by another, and one party overcomes another. When two parties fought each other and won, the winner declared themselves patriots and opponents - bandits. It took a short time; the situation has changed; and bandits were patriots and patriots - bandits. For - "woe to the vanquished."
But of course, the basic meaning of the chants, "By the rivers of Babylon," as applied to us Christians, not only in this historic moment. This psalm reminds us of how the Jews in Babylonian captivity learned to love their shrines, treasure them and cherish them. Cruel conquerors told them: "Sing to us from the songs of Zion," and they said, "Kako will sing the Lord's song in the land foreign land?"
So, that's us who have been on many rivers away from their homeland, we must be take the example of the Jewish people, as he learned the Babylonian captivity to protect their shrines, to honor them and cherish them.
But the main, the spiritual meaning of this psalm was explained, in agreement with other communication. fathers, once the great Elder Ambrose. In one of his letters of didactically. Ambrose, referring to himself, said: "Dschi Babylon, cursed my flesh, when will I learn to break your sinful babies on a rock of faith?" When sin is only indicated in the soul of man, but has not yet mastered it, St. Fathers call it "sinful baby." This means that the temptation to sin delineated in the shower, but the man can conquer the temptation, which is then necessary to reflect when he first appears. If a person holds his seductive thing in my heart and thoughts, stopping their attention on it, he every moment becomes sharper and more attractive, and the longer it remains in the soul of this temptation, the harder it is to overcome. That is why the great elder and says that it is necessary "sinful babies to break a rock of faith," and to fight against sin, throwing him out - when he appeared in the shower, but still weak as a baby, and another soul has not mastered. And it should be remembered each of us.
Probably many of you have read, as one wise old man taught his pupil, the young novice, to struggle with sin and told him: "My son, pluck it sapling." It was very young, just beginning to grow, and he did it without difficulty. "Now that's pluck it," said the old man. Another tree was much thicker, t. To. Grew longer, and tore his novitiate with great difficulty. "Now that's pluck" - and the old man pointed to a thick old tree. Of course, the student there is nothing he could do. And the old man and said: "Remember, sin must be fought at the beginning otherwise it will turn into a habit and then it will be difficult to beat him, and then he can master the soul so that it will be a completely unable to tear myself away from it."
And this feat struggle against sin and tells us chant "By the rivers of Babylon," has taught us that it is necessary every sinful temptation that comes close to us immediately as soon as it appears, to break a rock of faith, not allowing it to master soul.Amen.
Metropolitan Filaret. Preaching and teaching. t. I. Issued by the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee at the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. On the 50th anniversary of the priesthood in 1931 - 1981 s.s.84-87.
Checked against the original
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