Cusp-a point of transition, as from one historical period to the next;
the borders between the twelve astrological signs.
You are considered to be "on the cusp" if you were born
within a day or two of the beginning or end of any sign.

The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863; Albert Bierstadt

20 April 2012

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Readings of the Day

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, Lambert Lombard, Rockox House, Antwerp.

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,

and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

                         John 6:11
Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes,  St. Savior in Chora, Istanbul

All of Orthodoxy honors St. Nikodemos of Athos for providing us with the Philokalia. Less well known is his Exomologetarion: A Manual of Confession. First published in 1794, it contains the following story:

A king once happened to confess to a farmer, who was discreetly a Spiritual Father, and after having confessed his sins, said to the Spiritual Father, “I don’t have anything else to say to you.” “How so, O king?” said the Spiritual Father. “How? Have we finished the confession? No. You have said the sins of Alexis (stating the king’s first name), say now the sins of the king.” That wise Spiritual Father wanted to show by these words that every ruler and head, foreign or domestic, must not only confess as an individual or be examined by a Spiritual Father as a common person, but in addition to the sins he committed as a person, he must also confess those things he could have done as a ruler unto the good of his people but did not do, and as many bad things as happened to his subjects on his account which he did not correct, for which he will have to give an exact account to God.

This story illustrates the Orthodox Christian attitude regarding the relationship between faith and life in the world. When Orthodox people are in positions of authority and power, they are expected to follow Christ in those positions just as they follow Him in their private lives.

No comments: