St. Theophan the Recluse called reading the Holy Scripture a "spiritual meal" and said that "reading the Gospel is the best reading."
Modern book production throws a gullible reader into a network of vice
Modern book production often throws a gullible or little-prepared reader into seductive corrupt dirty networks of vice, brings down waves of violence and cruelty, slyly lures into the black depths of magic and occultism. Aggressive pressure, with which this kind of literature comes, is not enough for everyone to stand. Bright, catchy, often very frank covers, affordable price, fascinating plot often attract many people who gladly read such books in subway cars. More recently, it has been argued that Russia is the most readable country in the world. But I would like to clarify which books people read in statistical reports, what do book publishing houses offer them and where does modern literature lead? The gospel rightly asks the question: The lamp for the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. So if the light that is in you is darkness, then what is the darkness? (Matt. 6, 22 - 23).
In Ancient Russia, the concepts of "book person" and "spiritual man" were identical
Now it is especially important to turn to the spiritual tradition of our ancestors. Recent findings of birch bark letters have proved a high level of literacy among ordinary people. Historical evidence relating to the early pre-Mongol period of the development of Christian Russia shows a high level of book culture among the population. Many researchers note that in Ancient Rus, the concepts of "book person" and "spiritual man" were identical. In the books, the Christian teaching was expounded and interpreted, the book was a treasure of spiritual wisdom, to which the heart of the ancient Russian Christian gravitated. The scribe was not just a literate person, he was a connoisseur and distributor of book culture. The children learned the letter according to the Psalms and the Book of Hours, and in the adult years, the Holy Scripture and the lives of the saints were a favorite reading ...
A modern person can sit for hours at the computer, TV, can spend a sleepless night reading a fascinating novel. But it is worthwhile to take in the hands of the spiritual book, especially the Holy Scripture, how immediately for some reason we are tending to sleep, some urgent matters appear, strange thoughts come into our heads, and reading becomes very, very difficult. There is a fair question - why? Because the reading of the Holy Gospel edifies us, brings us closer to God, according to the words of Saint Theophanes - "there the Spirit of God moves and drives away the spirits of the God-protective and God-fighting".
The Gospel in Greek is "good, good news." It is very important to learn and teach your children to listen to the verbs of eternal life.
The memories of the holy righteous John of Kronstadt about how the reading of the Gospel influenced him in his childhood were preserved. In conversation with his disciple, rector of the Ioanno-Predtechensky Leushinsky monastery, Abbess Taisia, he recalled his childhood: "Do you know what first of all marked the beginning of my conversion to God and in my childhood warmed my heart with love for Him? This is the Holy Gospel. My parent had the Gospel in Slavonic-Russian; I loved reading this wonderful book when I came home for the vacant time, and its syllable and simplicity of speech were accessible to my child's understanding; He read and enjoyed it and found in this reading a high and irreplaceable comfort. This gospel was with me and in the spiritual school. I can say that the Gospel was a companion of my childhood, my mentor, leader and comforter, with whom I grew up from childhood. "
The Lord said: Let the children go and do not prevent them from coming to Me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19, 14). And who, if not the children, will feel all the power of joy of the Kingdom of God coming to people!
Holy Fathers advise daily to read through the chapter or the queen from the Gospel
The Holy Fathers are advised to read the chapter or the Gospel daily from the Gospel. As Saint Theophan wrote: "Read the Gospel and other spiritual books - every morning after prayer. If you have your own corner, then do not get out of it, not having read and not praying. From this you will have the strength of spirit and heart. "
The book of life was called the Gospel of St. Ignatius Bryanchaninov, who in The Ascetic Experiences wrote: "Opening the book for reading the Holy Gospel, - remember that she will decide your eternal fate. According to it, we will be judged and, depending on what was here on earth, in relation to it, we will receive for the inheritance or eternal bliss, or eternal punishment. Do not be satisfied with one fruitless reading of the Gospel; Try to fulfill his commandments, read his deeds. This is the book of life, and one must read it with life. "
It is often said that the gospel read in the temple or at home is badly remembered. In the Father of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, in which the statements of the Egyptian ascetics of the 4th-5th centuries are collected, the following story is cited:
"A certain disciple came to the old man and said:
- What to do, I do not read Holy Scripture or other books, I have nothing left in my head, I do not remember anything. Is it worth reading in this case, maybe you do not need it?
To which he replied:
"As dirty laundry placed in a creek, even without washing is cleared, because running water flushes all the dirt out of it, so reading the divine books washing away dirt, rubbish and enlightens our thoughts with the gospel light."
St. Theophanes advises us to memorize "the words of the Lord and the holy Apostles, trying at the same time to more clearly embrace the Savior's thought and penetrate deeper into its meaning and connection with the whole of our beliefs."
For a deeper reflection on the words of the Gospel, Saint Theophan advises us to create a special notebook: "Create a notebook and write down in it the thoughts that will be generated when reading the Gospel and other books, in this order: the Lord says this and that in the Gospel; From this it is clear that we must do so and so; For me it is executable in such and such cases; I will do so; Help, O Lord! "
In conclusion, we will quote the advice of St. Theophan the Recluse about reading the word of God, "which is more honorable than gold and silver, precious beads and precious stones", without which we, like a bird without wings, can not rush to the Kingdom of Heaven: "Beloved reader of mine! Do you want me to show you a thing that is more honest than gold and silver, a multi-value bead and kangarines of dragoons? Nothing you can find and buy the Kingdom of Heaven, future joys and eternal peace, as soon as this thing. This reading is in private and listening with attention and diligence to the word of God, the writings of fatherly and other soul-saving books. No one can be saved if he does not read or listen to the holy soul-saving writings. As a bird without wings can not fly to the altitude, so the mind without holy books can not speculate how to be saved.
Reading alone and hearing with the attention and diligence of the holy books is the teacher of all virtues and every good deed. Reading alone and hearing with the attention and diligence of holy books, giving birth to every virtue and reviving the good dispositions of the heart, drives us away from all evil evil passions and all lust, desire and demonic action. Reading holy and hearing with the attention and diligence of the holy books over all the activities and labors that the jealous of salvation raise, the holy fathers are supplied as if by an elder and king. It is to all virtues that arouses and guides man and at the right hand of God delivers it.
The Divine Scripture and soul-saving books show us the beginning, the middle and the end of the salvific way, the whole ladder to the Kingdom of Heaven. Why should we cling to these books and this Scripture with the Divine in all faithfulness? Where they practice reading holy books, from there all kinds of demonic activities, all kinds of soul-destroying passions and sinful lusts are driven out; To the commandments of the Lord and to the virtues of the fatherly, there is every correction. Why it is well established by the holy fathers that on the morning services the teachings from the holy books are readable repeatedly, and those who can read so that they are engaged in such reading also in kelias, to protect themselves from invisible spiritual tattoos and robbers, thus creating, as it were, a guards around themselves from the salvation Truths, against the intrigues, cunnings and schemes of fierce demons, against the oblivion and obscurations that are directed by them. "