fools for Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, humbled Himself, and out of love for us He became flesh- a man- to make us divine sons of God, adopted in Christ by our heavenly Father.

Through our sin we disabled ourselves as Image-bearers of His glory, and He came to save us: to cleanse, pardon, and heal us, as we pray in the Trisagion prayers; to purify, illumine, and grant us eternal, divine Life, ever-increasing participation in the divine energies of the Holy, Consubstantial Trinity- Theosis- according to the teachings of our Holy Fathers, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, all one in the same.

Many of the Saints, restored to likeness to Christ, substantially healed spiritually, chose to represent themselves as insane- disabled in mental health- so that they could minister to those around them the Divine life and fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider these words of St. Paul, from his first letter to the Corinthians, chapters 1:18-25 & 4:8-13, to those, who like me,  have some knowledge, which we share, feeling we have accomplished something, (in Christ, of course) but in reality have a long way to go in achieving the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”[a]

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  . . . .
8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! 9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 dishonored! being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

Passages from http://www.biblegateway.com/ NKJV

Here are some websites on Fools for Christ:

Holy Fools for Christ, on the website of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Billings, Montana: http://www.stnicholas-billings.org/Saints/HolyFools/holyfools.htm

Diveyevo’s Holy “Fools” http://www.roca.org/OA/105/105f.htm

Diveyevo and Sarov http://www.orthodox.net/russiannm/sarov-and-diveyevo-monastic-martyrs-and-confessors.html

The Life of the Blessed Xenia of St.Petersburg http://www.stvladimiraami.org/stxenia/StXeniaLife.shtml

Her humble life ‘in the world’ really touches me in my own disability.Leo Peter O’Filon, Disabled Neophye http://eorthodox.wordpress.com/2006/01/25/todays-saint-xenia-of-st-petersburg-russia/

encyclopedia article, by Svitlana Kobets: http://www.slavdom.com/index.php

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