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ONLY SPEAK A WORD – Metropolitan Naum

vodocha070920141“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof”



Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with Him, saying “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8: 5-8.

The Roman centurion says he is not worthy. But his humility, in this case, is just an excuse not to wear out and to protect Christ. It is love in action. He knows that Christ is on foot and busy all the time, preaching, healing people from sickness etc, and in order to spare Him extra effort, He simply says to Him: “Only speak a word”.

The Roman centurion is a fine example of how to protect our spiritual father from unnecessary labour, as well as to give him time and energy to help others who are suffering and are in need. One should briefly state his problem, and also, if he already believes in God, i.e. in the power of the blessing of the spiritual father. He should show it by leaving the opportunity for access to Him by others who suffer and are in need.

There is a demonstration of true faith and love by the centurion, we recognize not only from the love he shows for the God-Man Jesus Christ, but also from the love he demonstrates towards his fellow man – he does not plead for himself, but for his servant. He demonstrates the same love he shows towards God by his compassion and empathy towards others who suffer.

The aforementioned behaviour is the complete opposite to the painful attachment to the spiritual father, of the irresponsible wasting of his time, of the jealous “safeguarding” him for yourself only , and the hostility towards anyone who seems to be endangering our position with him.

We have said before: the pious attitude towards the spiritual father implies a bond to his word, not to him. Through his word (obedience), we constantly build the communion with God, and, when our personal relationship with God becomes sufficiently unwavering, then, through Him (God), we will be able to build a spiritual, personal relationship with both the spiritual father and our loved ones (fellow men).

Sufficiently unwavering relationship is reached in the second level of the spiritual development – enlightenment of the mind, when Christ above all, is our criterion for everything. On the other hand, where there is no “word in power”, there is usually (to put it gently) an emotional attachment to the “spiritualist.” The difference is from heaven to earth.

Anyone who, like the centurion, protects and saves his spiritual father will be glorified by Christ Himself:

“Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour (Matthew 8:10-13).

Here is what “word in power” means. The God-Man Christ only spoke a word, and the servant of the centurion was healed that same hour. God’s word, i.e. the “word in power” is fulfilled: we see this in the creation of the world, man was created from nothing which previously existed; we see this in many healings of the sick; and in the blessing (multiplying) of bread and fish; and in the management of natural disasters; and in the expulsion of demons; and when turning of water into wine took place; and at the resurrection of the dead; etc …

The Liturgical (Eucharistic) word is also fulfilled, and it is a “word in power”; a source of a “word in power”, which renews the world over and over again; because Christ is the One Who is offering and Who offers Himself, Who receives; and gives Himself. Whilst conducting the Divine Liturgy the Bishop says: “An Angel of peace, guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord” and every man is visited, and every demon retreats – until is called again. “Forgiveness and remission of our sins, let us ask of the Lord” and every sin is forgiven – until is done again. “Those things which are good and profitable for our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord”, and everything changes for the better – until we change it our way. “And make this bread the precious Body of Thy Christ, and that which is in this cup the precious Blood of Thy Christ,” and the whole world is sanctified.

The word of God, the Liturgical word, the word in power is already possessed by the one who enlightens his mind through the gift of the prayer of the mind in the heart ; one whose mind invisibly worships God before the altar of his heart. Do you see why I am telling you that first we need to reach our heart through the prayer of the mind in the heart, and then through the transfigured and enlightened thought, purified into the “word in power,” to reach the heart of the others?

In the presence of a man who is worthy and with the granted gift of the inner and eschatological clergy, the illusion disappears, the collective oblivious schemes become ridiculous, the passions are paralysed, the demon runs far away, and his word brings uncreated light, strength and hope into the heart of the fellow men.

Enlightenment is not naked knowledge which makes you proud; it is, above all, mind, word, and deeds with power and authority; This means, the strength and power of the overall presence. The “word in power” of the enlightened person is compellable (implemented by) for the well-meaning man. Every well-meaning person listens to the word, accepts it in his heart with humility, and fulfils it. And, it is clear why the existence and the presence of a man with the authority and power of the word distracts (teaches) the vainglorious; both demons and humans.

But if we do not believe correctly and if we do not live righteously, our word will remain powerless, and, the same will happen to us as happened to some of the Jewish wanderers, exorcists, who began to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by the evil spirits. Here is that Gospel passage: …

And they said, “We exorcise you by the Jesus, whom Paul preaches!” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said; “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them.  He showed them such a strength that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus, and fear fell on them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (Acts 19: 13-17).

The same will befall those who hate someone and try to pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Knowing this, we should repent, and not be stunned when the world does not accept our testimony or our word unreservedly; and even why the world does not trust us completely; why it laughs at us, why it often marginalises us, and sometimes even persecutes us. All of this happens to us not because we are holy, but on the contrary – because we do not have a word that is supported by deeds, because we do not have a transfigured word, that is, we do not have a “word in power”, and we do not even have obedience.

When this happens to some of us, as shepherds, whose voice our mindful flock, at least, knows, expects and understands; what can those, who with their word serve other people’s interests hope for? They serve only human interests, that is demonic interests?

I have always wondered … what a religious sociopathy … what an insensitivity …?


Most-Holy Bogorodica (Mother of God), save us all!


P.S. Thank you all for your congratulations on my name day! May the Most-Holy Bogorodica be with you all!

Metropolitan of Strumica Naum

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