The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
St. Mark the Ascetic
He who chooses maltreatment and dishonor for the sake of truth is walking on the apostolic path; he has taken up the cross and is bound in chains (cf. Matt. 16:24; Acts 28:20). But when he tries to concentrate his attention on the heart without accepting these two, his intellect wanders from the path and he falls into the temptations and snares of the devil.
In our ascetic warfare we can neither rid ourselves of evil thoughts apart from their causes, nor of their causes without ridding ourselves of the thoughts. For if we reject the one without the other, before long the other will involve us in both at once.
…He who wishes to be spared all misfortunes should associate God with everything through prayer; with his intellect he should set his hope in Him, putting aside, as far as possible, all concern about things of the senses.
…Knowledge of created things helps a man at a time of temptations and listlessness; but at a time of pure prayer it is usually harmful.
…What is said without explicit reference to individuals is helpful to all, for each applies it to himself according to his own conscience.
…If you give way when someone who is under obedience to you wrongly contradicts you, you lead him astray over the point at issue and also encourage him to repudiate his promise of obedience.
He who with fear of God admonishes or corrects a man who has sinned, gains the virtue that is opposite to that sin. But he who reproaches him out of rancor and ill will becomes subject to a similar passion, according to the spiritual law.
He who has learned the law properly fears the Lawgiver and, fearing Him, he turns away from every evil.
…One man speaks the truth and is hated for it by the foolish; another speaks hypocritically and for this reason is loved. But in both cases their reward is not long delayed, for at the appropriate moment the Lord renders to each his due.
He who wishes to avoid future troubles should endure his present troubles gladly. For in this way, balancing the one against the other, through small sufferings he will avoid those which are great.
(From the Section Subtitled: No Righteousness By Works)