If you ask a person: "Do you know the commandments?" He will answer: "I know. Do not steal; do not kill; Honor father and mother ... "Will remember what was inscribed on the stone tablets. But there are many commandments. For example, the Lord says at the Last Supper: "Take, eat: this is my body, for which you are broken for the forgiveness of sins." This is a commandment. "Drink from Ney Allah ..." is a commandment. Any word of Christ, spoken in the imperative mood, is a commandment for all who believe in the Lord. But here is an amazing commandment: "Be holy, for I am holy, Lord, your God" (Lev.19,2). This is written in the book of the Pentateuch of Moses, the Lord commands us to be holy. And what is holiness and can all be saints? The priest of the Moscow church of the Resurrection of the Speaking Protopriest Andrei Tkachyov is contemplating.
Yes, my friends, we all must be holy. The apostle Paul speaks these words in his message, addressing Christians: "God's chosen, holy and beloved" (Col.3,12). Once you were strangers to God, and today you are God's cousins - close, dear.
How is holiness attained?There is none of the holy people who would be holy by personal holiness. Holiness is God's gift to man. God is holy in essence, but man is holy in communion with God. All the saints were sanctified and purified, and were justified, and washed, thanks to the closeness of the Lord and union with Him. They received grace through the sacrament, but none of them is proud, "for by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of you, the gift of God" (Eph. 2,8). The saints of God perfectly understood that they are not the source of the sacred thing, for by themselves they are just people, just flesh and just blood, dust and ashes. The food of worms is a man without God. And with God it is the son of God and the heir of eternal blessings. Here we have to perfectly understand that without God we are nothing and nothing, but we must strive for holiness.
When the gifts are refracted, the priest says: "Holy to the saints," that is, the Holy Gifts to the holy people. And to whom is this? Us. Are we saints? No, but the Church looks at us as potential, potential saints. G. Chesterton wrote in one of his essays that democracy believes that every person should be a good and honest citizen, conscious and enlightened; and the Church believes that every person should be a saint. The church calls us to holiness. And we know the saints who were holy from infancy to old age. For example, John the Baptist is the son of holy parents, a saint from childhood, a saint to death. We know the saints who were sinners in childhood and adolescence, adulthood, but were consecrated, for example, in the second half of their life - like Mary of Egypt. Half a lifetime of lawlessness and half the life of the toughest feats. We know the saints who were consecrated in the last hours of their lives. It was the last hours of the life of the prudent plunderer who redeemed his soul for eternal life, opened the gates of paradise to him. He opened up a robbery repentance! So we know different saints.
We know the saints who were so holy that they gave birth to a whole galaxy of disciples and formed whole Christian civilizations. Rus, for example, stands on the Reverend Sergius of Radonezh. The Monk Sergius is so great, so deep, so mysterious, so wide and thin that Rus still feeds on his holiness. Serbia boasts of Saint Savva and calls its Church a Svyatoslav, because Sawa was so great, grandiose in holiness, that to this day for many centuries the Serbian Church has been feeding on the holiness of one person.
There is an immutable law: God does not need many people to sanctify all. One is needed. Millions live for one holy person. God finds Abraham, and from him multiplies the people. He seeks David, and through him gives the whole revealed doctrine that is in the Psalter. God calls Prince Vladimir and through him leads to the font of Baptism a lot of Slavic tribes. That is, God needs one holy man who directs the channel of life in the right direction.
Why do we remember the saints?We are debtors to the saints. On the one hand, we need to know as many saints as possible. What for?
Going on a long journey, we are looking for phones and addresses of people who live in a remote country, where we have never been, so that when you come there, you will not be useless to anyone. So that when we come to Australia or South Africa, we find there shelter, clothing, help. In the same way, when we go to the next world, into the recuperation, to the Kingdom of God, we should know as much as possible the people who already live in that world. For example, holy equals. Nina, or beloved Nicholas the Wonderworker, or the Apostles Peter and Paul are the supreme disciples of the Physician of the Souls and the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Or, say, blessed Xenia - amazing in the help of the suffering earthly. Or Vasily the Blessed, who lived in Moscow. It's all residents of Heavenly Jerusalem. People who already live there, where we just have to enter. We call for their help, we communicate with them in order to enlist their prayer in the face of Christ the Savior, whom they will see.
Speaking of holiness, we also say that the meaning of this word is "separated". The saint means "separate." For example, there are many, many ordinary days, but there is a holy day, separated from the rest, the day of the feast. There are many different places quite ordinary and simple, but there is a holy place where you can not enter, for example, in dirty clothes, with loud laughter. This is the temple of God. Purely get dressed, face washed, crossed, fear God's fear and quietly come in, because the place is holy. There are holy clothes, there are holy times, there are holy dates, there are holy people. That is, the holy is something else, separated.
The Lord wants us to separate from the law of sin. "Get them out of the midst of them and be separated ... and do not touch uncleanness, and I will accept you: and I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty "(2 Cor.6,17,18). To be sanctified is not to live according to the laws of this world. Saints are people who prevailed over the secular laws, which are discord, selfishness, self-will, desire for glory and self-infatuation. And the laws of God, which overcome the laws of this world, are glory to God, honor to fellowmen, in the heart is the fear of God and as little as possible of self-will, self-guilt, self-praise. Saints are people who prevailed over the laws of the world by the Spirit of God, they lived here, but not in this place, not as the children of men live, but as the sons of God live.
It is fitting for every person to begin acquaintance with God's saints from that saint whose name he bears. So, let's say, I am Andrey, God himself told me to know the lives of all the saints Andreyev, the first of which is Andrew the First-Called. Where he lived, what glory, when he suffered, what is special about his life. And, in addition, it would not be too bad to learn about other Andreev, for example, Andrew of Crete, martyr. Andrei Bogolyubsky, pr. Andrei Rublev and other saints who bear this name. If you are Sergei, Nikolai, Peter, Vladimir, Natalia, Maria ... get acquainted with the life of a saint whose name is baptized. This can begin your spiritual growth. On the day of your saint's remembrance, you must be in the temple of God, receive communion, and confess. Summon your saint in prayer. Let's say: "Pray to God for me, Saint Father Basil, as I am assiduously resorting to you, a quick helper and a prayer book about my soul." From this begins a meeting with the heavenly world. This is the point where the human soul meets those who are already in the sky.
But as you yourself can become a saint - this is the Lord will tell. Either you spend your property on beggars, or you'll pour blood for the name of the Lord, or you will rush to the defense of your neighbor and perish, or you will treat or teach people, or otherwise give yourself up to the last drop to serve God and your neighbor. And remember the words of the Lord: "Depart from the midst of sinners, do not touch uncleanness, and I will receive you, and you will be to Me sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty.