But the celestials really are an army.
The Lost Paradise was a garden, and one can think of himself as being in the likeness of that Paradise, if the good sun shines in the peaceful sky. If you can lie down in the shade of the trees; if in birds in the branches of the same trees something is clicked and whistled by birds. If you are healthy and careless, and a breeze, and not horror stirs your whirlwinds. If in the hands of a good book or in the neighborhood of nice people. But this is not the only semblance of Paradise.
The army on the parade, oddly enough, something also speaks about the realities of the invisible world.
Residents of the spiritual world are not very similar to students who do not fall for couples and are lying on the lawn of the campus. As we are open, they are precisely the army and the Lord Whom they serve, is called the God of heavenly hosts. In Hebrew, the Sabaoth.
The order, the knowledge of one's own place in the hierarchy without gusts take the place of others, personal valor, general coherence, these are the characteristics of the angelic ranks. To the saved people it is necessary in an accessible measure to be likened to these Celestial guardsmen.
In no way detracting from the beauty of a peaceful life; not doubting the need for the entire world, without exception, to beat the swords into plowshares and spears - to sickles, you still have to restrain yourself from the mixture of softness, cowardice and ignorance, which for some reason are called pacifism. So far, only the character of the Vuchetich sculpture has crooked the sword on the plow. All the rest are armed. And pacifism is good. Cowardice is bad. And the spiritual life of great people who do not offend the fly and feed the bear from the hand of bread, in fact is a real battle without rest throughout the life of the earth.
Some of the saints, which are called "break the pattern," and are the true warriors in both senses, spiritual and practical.
Saint Nestor of Solunsky asked for the blessing of St. Demetrius to fight with an undefeated wrestler named Leah. He tossed the rival to the emperor and the crowd from the high platform to the spears. Often Christians. Nestor burned with a desire to humble this triumph of brute force and impunity. Won. Leah found death on the same spears. Nestor paid for the victory with his own torment.
Julian the Apostate for a short time exhausted the Church more than all the previous persecutors, taken together. This king perceived Christ as a personal enemy. Many prayed fervently for the deliverance of the Church from the devil-like cunning. And Basil the Great also prayed. The martyr Mercury through the prayers of Basil from heaven (!) Intervened in the battle with the Persians, which led Julian. The king was pierced to death by a heavenly warrior. Where did the death come from, he understood, waving his last fist at the sky and saying: "You conquered, Galilean!"
Boris and Gleb, entered into the glory of God through the submissive shedding of their innocent blood and the refusal to fratricide, interfered in earthly battles. Alexander Nevsky in the battle with the Swedes received help and blessing from them.
Spiridon Trimiphuntsky drowned the ships of enemies who were on the plunder of Corfu.
Residents of Thessalonica more than once in history saw the great martyr Demetrius on the walls of his city during the siege or battle.
Nikola Mozhaisky is not just pictured with a sword in his right hand.
Not just on a horse with a spear and St. George.
The elder brother of John the Theologian, Jacob (from the Catholics of St. Iago) at one time spiritually led the liberation of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims, for which he received the name "Matomoro", i.e. "The destroyer of the Moors." And they were seen by the Christians in front of the troops, not in the form of a fisherman, but in the form of an armed soldier.
There are many such examples. They do not make war a holiday. Not at all. But they connect the triumphant Heaven and the suffering earth. They bring to our local inevitable bitterness the sweetness of their help, unexpected and paradoxical.
And we deliberately do not say anything about the times of the Old Testament, because, as Paul says in the Epistle to the Jews, we will not have time to talk about Varak, Deborah, Jephthah, Samson, David and many others. Among the glorious deeds they accomplished, they are said to have "defeated the kingdoms, avoided the point of the sword, were strong in the war, drove off the regiments of strangers ..." (Heb.11: 33-34) As we see, by military vocabulary this passage about the best people the world is pretty full.
People often do not hear what they say to him. A person hears himself or what he wants to hear. The fluid takes the form of filled vessels and the spoken word can change its meaning, squeezing into the dark emptiness of different hearts.
I do not want war, I do not call for war, and I do not praise the various ways to let the guts out. But war seems to me an eternal threat to the fragile earthly human house. An eternal threat because of the passions that tear the hearts of the inhabitants of this fragile house. And I just want to remind you that the saints are not pacifists in that vulgar understanding that prevails around. They are not "fluffy paws" that distribute sweets. Saints, they are different, just as God is different from all that is intelligible. And the saints can come to the helpless to help. They can humble the rough and proud power of those who enjoy violence and conscious meanness. Humble from the skies and resign physically. Perceptible. All this was in history more than once or twice. Hundreds of times, if not thousands.
There is no reason to think that the holy intervention of heavenly helpers became impossible in our busy days.
By faith, all by faith ...